Poetry Month is coming to a close. It has been a blast to share this month long celebration of poetry with all of you. In the the last remaining days, I'm going to share a poem or two which are my personal favorites.

If We Must Die written by the poet Claude McKay,one of the leading poets of the Harlem Renaissance, is a poem that has stayed me for over 20 years since reading it in one of my English Classes at Howard. If we Must Die was in response to deadly race riots in the summer of 1919. It is has endured because one time or another we all felt like this. Finding the strength to push back against those who try to crush or dominate us.

If we must die, let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Making their mock at our accursèd lot.
If we must die, O let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!
O kinsmen! we must meet the common foe!
Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one death-blow!
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!

A serious warrior poem, right? Every once in a while, we must stand up for ourselves and what we believe in. I'll be back tomorrow with another poem.

As always, Sweet Dreams to you all.


Cheryl Lynn said...

Brilliant! I had forgotten how powerful Claude McKay's poetry is. In our great tradition of call and response, I write:

How gloriously the richly written word,
pays tribute to those brave in thought and deed,
to future generations shall be heard,
in victory's wake, triumphant warriors bleed.

What a wonderful post, my dear.

Anonymous said...

Holy Moly! That is a powerful piece of poetry!
I'm sad that National Poetry Month is coming to an end as well! Great post!

Sarah said...

That is a powerful poem!