Setian Writing 2

From “American Negro Poetry” An Anthology edited by Anna Nontemps.


Georgia Douglas Johnson

My Pathway lies through worse than death;

I met the hours with bated breath.

My red blood boils, my pulses thrill,

I life life running up hill.

Ah, no, I need no paltry play

of make-shift tilts for holiday:

For I was born against the tide

and I must conquer that denied.

I shun no hardship, fear no foe;

The future calls and I must go:

I charge the line and dare the spheres

As I go fighting down the years.

If We Must Die.

Claude McKay

If we must die-let it not be like hogs

Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,

While round us bark the mad hungry dogs,

Making their mock at our accursed lot.

If we must die-oh let us nobly die,

That out precious blood may not be shed

In vain;then even the monsters we defy

Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!

Oh, Kinsmen! We must meet the common foe;

Though far outnumbered, let us show us brave,

And for their thousand blows deal one deathblow!

What though before us lies the open grave?

Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack,

Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back.


Gwendolyn B. Bennett

I shall hate you

Like a dart of singing steel

Shot through still air

At eventide.

Or solemnly

As pines are sober

When they stand etched Against the sky.

Hating you shall be a game

Played with cool hands

And slim fingers.

Your heart will yearn

For the lonely splendor

Of the pine tree;

While rekindled fired

In my eyes

Shall wound you like swift arrows.

Memory will lay it’s hands

Upon your breast

And you will understand

My hatred.


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