• Get Involved! Hear what students and teachers have to say about Poetry Out Loud.

    Get Involved! Hear what students and teachers have to say about Poetry Out Loud.
  • Anita Norman Recites at Poets House Poetry Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge (photo by Arnie Adler)

    Anita Norman Recites at Poets House Poetry Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge (photo by Arnie Adler)
  • And introducing your 2014 POL Champs...

    And introducing your 2014 POL Champs...
  • Meet 2014 National Champ Anita Norman!

    Meet 2014 National Champ Anita Norman!
Claude  McKay

Claude McKay

After emigrating to America from Jamaica, Claude McKay became a central figure of the Harlem Renaissance. Whether protesting racial and economic inequities or expressing romantic attachment, his poetry communicates its themes through vivid

America
by Claude McKay

Although she feeds me bread of bitterness,
And sinks into my throat her tiger’s tooth,
Stealing my breath of life, I will confess
I love this cultured hell that tests my youth.
Her vigor flows like tides into my blood,
Giving me strength erect against her hate,
Her bigness sweeps my being like a flood.
Yet, as a rebel fronts a king in state,