The Tropics in New York

By Claude McKay 1889–1948 Claude McKay
Bananas ripe and green, and ginger-root,
      Cocoa in pods and alligator pears,
And tangerines and mangoes and grape fruit,
      Fit for the highest prize at parish fairs,

Set in the window, bringing memories
      Of fruit-trees laden by low-singing rills,
And dewy dawns, and mystical blue skies
      In benediction over nun-like hills.

My eyes grew dim, and I could no more gaze;
      A wave of longing through my body swept,
And, hungry for the old, familiar ways,
      I turned aside and bowed my head and wept.

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Poet Claude McKay 1889–1948

SCHOOL / PERIOD Harlem Renaissance

Subjects Sorrow & Grieving, Cities & Urban Life, Living, Nature, Social Commentaries, Landscapes & Pastorals

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 Claude  McKay

Biography

Festus Claudius McKay, better known as Claude McKay, was a key figure in the Harlem Renaissance, a prominent literary movement of the 1920s. His work ranged from vernacular verse celebrating peasant life in Jamaica to fairly militant poems challenging white authority in America, and from generally straightforward tales of black life in both Jamaica and America to more philosophically ambitious fiction addressing . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Sorrow & Grieving, Cities & Urban Life, Living, Nature, Social Commentaries, Landscapes & Pastorals

SCHOOL / PERIOD Harlem Renaissance

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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