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All Souls’ Day

Friday, 2 November, 2018

“The soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts.” — Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

All Souls' Day

One of the key figures in the Harlem Renaissance, a literary movement in 1920s New York, was Claude McKay. His work ranged from verse celebrating rural life in Jamaica to poems challenging authority in America. We remember him today, All Souls’ Day.

I Know My Soul

I plucked my soul out of its secret place,
And held it to the mirror of my eye,
To see it like a star against the sky,
A twitching body quivering in space,
A spark of passion shining on my face.
And I explored it to determine why
This awful key to my infinity
Conspires to rob me of sweet joy and grace.
And if the sign may not be fully read,
If I can comprehend but not control,
I need not gloom my days with futile dread,
Because I see a part and not the whole.
Contemplating the strange, I’m comforted
By this narcotic thought: I know my soul.

Claude McKay (1889 – 1948)


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