Textual History

This poem first appeared in Pearson's Magazine (September, 1918): [§] Claude McKay Harlem Shadows Pearson's Magazine (September, 1918): 276 (under the title "The Park in Spring"). It also appeared in Spring in New Hampshire 1920 [] Claude McKay The Castaways Claude McKay Spring in New Hampshire London Grant Richards Ltd. 1920 28 and Cambridge Magazine Summer, 1920 [#] The Castaways Cambridge Magazine Summer, 1920 58 . In its appearance in Pearsons, lines 2,4,6,8,10, and 12 are indented one level, and the concluding couplet is indented two levels.


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The CastawaysThe Park in Spring§

  1. The vivid grass with visible delight

  2. Springing triumphant from the pregnant earth,;§#

  3. The And# butterflies, and sparrows in brief flight

  4. Chirping and dancing for the season's birth,

  5. The And§# dandelions and rare daffodils

  6. That touch hold§# the deep-stirred heart with hands of gold,§#

  7. The And§# thrushes sending forth their joyous trills,—;§#

  8. Not these, not these did I at first behold!;§:#

  9. But ,§ seated on the benches daubed with green,

  10. The castaways of life castaways of earth# human derelicts§, a few some fast§# asleep,

  11. Some withered women desolate and mean, With here and there a woman wedged between,§ With many a withered woman wedged between,#

  12. And ,§ over all,# life's shadows dark and deep.:§#

  13. Moaning I turned away, for misery

  14. I have the strength to bear but not to see.


Harlem Shadows (1922)

Additional Poems by Claude McKay

Contemporary Reviews

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