Textual History

This poem also appears in The Liberator (October, 1921): [*] Claude McKay The White City The Liberator (October, 1921): 7 .


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The White City

  1. I will not toy with it nor bend an inch.

  2. Deep in the secret chambers of my heart

  3. I muse my life-long hate,* and without flinch ,*

  4. I bear it nobly as I live my part.

  5. My being would be a skeleton, a shell,

  6. If this dark Passion that fills my every mood,

  7. And makes my heaven in the white world's hell,

  8. Did not forever feed me vital blood.

  9. I see the mighty city through a mist.*

  10. The strident trains that speed the goaded mass,

  11. The poles and spires and towers towers and spires* vapor vapour*-kissed,

  12. The fortressed port through which the great ships pass,

  13. The tides, the wharves, the dens I contemplate,

  14. Are sweet like wanton loves because I hate.


Harlem Shadows (1922)

Additional Poems by Claude McKay

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