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The Snow Fairy
Claude McKay

Throughout the afternoon I watched them there,
Snow-fairies falling, falling from the sky,
Whirling fantastic in the misty air,
Contending fierce for space supremacy.
And they flew down a mightier force at night,
As though in heaven there was revolt and riot,
And they, frail things had taken panic flight
Down to the calm earth seeking peace and quiet.
I went to bed and rose at early dawn
To see them huddled together in a heap,
Each merged into the other upon the lawn,
Worn out by the sharp struggle, fast asleep.
The sun shone brightly on them half the day,
By night they stealthily had stol'n away.
And suddenly my thoughts then turned to you
Who came to me upon a winter's night,
When snow-sprites round my attic window flew,
Your hair disheveled, eyes aglow with light.
My heart was like the weather when you came,
The wanton winds were blowing loud and long;
But you, with joy and passion all aflame,
You danced and sang a lilting summer song.
I made room for you in my little bed,
Took covers from the closet fresh and warm,
A downful pillow for your scented head,
And lay down with you resting in my arm.
You went with Dawn. You left me ere the day,
The lonely actor of a dreamy play.

This poem is in the public domain.



Festus Claudius "Claude" McKay (1889 - 1948) was born in Jamaica to a farming family. Educated primarily by his brother, a schoolteacher, he began writing poetry at the age of 10 and published his first collection at age 20. With the money from that book, Claude moved to the U.S. to attend college. He traveled in Europe and the Soviet Union in his thirties, then eventually settled in Harlem, New York, where he became a key figure of the Harlem Renaissance movement. Posthumously named Jamaica’s national poet, Claude has also been recognized as one of the 100 Greatest African Americans.



Post New Comment:
A bit sad and lovely at the end. Would that I was such a fairy fair. How lovely to be part of a poem.
Posted 12/13/2013 09:25 AM
pmm What lovely imagery!
Posted 12/12/2013 10:58 AM
I love this!
Posted 12/12/2013 09:13 AM
What a wonderful find. Further proof the Harlem Rennascience wasn't just Langdon Hughes, although he cast a long shadow. I particularly like the ending, which, although it's not lineated that way, I like as a couplet. Bravo!
Posted 12/12/2013 08:36 AM
Larry Schug:
I thought Claude McKay was reading my life story back to me. This fine poem touched me.
Posted 12/12/2013 08:14 AM
Posted 12/12/2013 07:39 AM
Thanks - A poet I did not know. What a find.
Posted 12/12/2013 05:18 AM
Oh, wow! A tender and beautiful poem.
Posted 12/12/2013 04:20 AM

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