Textual History

This poem appears under the title "Three Sonnets" in The Literary Digest October 28, 1922 [] Claude McKay Outcast Three Sonnets The Literary Digest October 28, 1922 75 4 33 with two other sonnets, "America" and "Home Thoughts."


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  1. For From the dim regions whence my fathers came

  2. My spirit, bondaged by the body, longs.

  3. Words felt, but never heard, my lips would frame;

  4. My soul would sing forgotten jungle songs.

  5. I would go back to darkness and to peace,

  6. But the great western world holds me in fee,

  7. And I may never hope for full release

  8. While to its alien gods I bend my knee.

  9. Something in me is lost, forever lost,

  10. Some vital thing has is gone out of my heart,

  11. And I must walk the way of life a ghost

  12. Among the sons of earth, a thing apart;

  13. For I was born, far from my native clime,

  14. Under the white man's menace, out of time.


Harlem Shadows (1922)

Additional Poems by Claude McKay

Contemporary Reviews

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