Textual History

This poem also appears in:

In its appearance in Four Negro Poets, its first lines, and its final two lines, are presented separated from the remainder of the sonnet.


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  1. Into the furnace let me go alone;.*

  2. Stay you without in terror of the heat.

  3. I will go naked in—for thus 'tis sweet—

  4. Into the weird depths of the hottest zone.,

  5. I will not quiver in the frailest bone,

  6. You will not note a flicker of defeat;

  7. My heart shall tremble not its fate to meet,

  8. MyNor mouth give utterance to any moan.

  9. The yawning oven spits forth fiery spears;,*

  10. Red aspish1 tongues shout wordlessly my name.;*

  11. Desire destroys, consumes my mortal fears,

  12. Transforming me into a shape of flame.

  13. I will come out, back to your world of tears,*

  14. A stronger soul within a finer frame.


Harlem Shadows (1922)

Additional Poems by Claude McKay

Contemporary Reviews

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