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Easter flowers

Sunday, 20 April, 2014

Easter flowers

Happy Easter to all Rainy Day readers! Festus Claudius McKay was born in Jamaica in 1889 and was educated by his older brother, Uriah Theophilus, a teacher, who had a library of English novels, poetry and scientific texts. In 1912, he moved to the US and in 1917 he published two sonnets, The Harlem Dancer and Invocation. McKay became interested in Marxism in the 1920s and travelled to Russia and then to France, but he returned to New York in 1934 and after losing faith in Communism he converted to Catholicism. He died in 1948.

The Easter Flower

Far from this foreign Easter damp and chilly
My soul steals to a pear-shaped plot of ground,
Where gleamed the lilac-tinted Easter lily
Soft-scented in the air for yards around;

Alone, without a hint of guardian leaf!
Just like a fragile bell of silver rime,
It burst the tomb for freedom sweet and brief
In the young pregnant year at Eastertime;

And many thought it was a sacred sign,
And some called it the resurrection flower;
And I, a pagan, worshiped at its shrine,
Yielding my heart unto its perfumed power.

Festus Claudius McKay


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