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Claude McKay. Krista Godshall. About Claude McKay. Jamaican-American writer and poet Became a American Citizen in 1940 Appalled by the racism Started writing poetry at 10 years Listed on the top 100 greatest African Americans Wrote 3 novels Home to Harlem Banana Bottom Banjo.

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Claude mckay

Claude McKay

Krista Godshall


About claude mckay
About Claude McKay . . .

  • Jamaican-American writer and poet

  • Became a American Citizen in 1940

    • Appalled by the racism

  • Started writing poetry at 10 years

  • Listed on the top 100 greatest African Americans

  • Wrote 3 novels

    • Home to Harlem

    • Banana Bottom

    • Banjo


A red flower
A Red Flower

Your lips are like a southern lily red,

Wet with the soft rain-kisses of the night,

In which the brown bee buries deep its head,

When still the dawn's a silver sea of light.

Your lips betray the secret of your soul,

The dark delicious essence that is you,

A mystery of life, the flaming goal

I seek through mazy pathways strange and new.

Your lips are the red symbol of a dream,

What visions of warm lilies they impart,

That line the green bank of a fair blue stream,

With butterflies and bees close to each heart!

Brown bees that murmur sounds of music rare,

That softly fall upon the langourous breeze,

Wafting them gently on the quiet air

Among untended avenues of trees.

O were I hovering, a bee, to probe

Deep down within your scented heart, fair flower,

Enfolded by your soft vermilion robe,

Amorous of sweets, for but one perfect hour!


Analyze
Analyze…

This poem is portraying Claude McKay’s reminisce of Jamaica, which is where he grew up. The title of this poem is A Red Flower, in the first line it states “your lips are like a southern red” I believe the lips are symbolizing the ‘Red Flower’. This red flower could represent a poinsettia which is a Jamaican flower. The poem also states, “the red symbol of a dream”, the poinsettia is portraying Jamaica which is his dream. This poem could also be about a lady that he is in love with, and he respects her and cherishes her


Poetic devices
Poetic Devices . . .

Personification

Simile

Your lips are like a southern lily red,

Wet with the soft rain-kisses of the night,

In which the brown bee buries deep its head,

When still the dawn's a silver sea of light.

Imagery

Imagery

Your lips betray the secret of your soul,

The dark delicious essence that is you,

A mystery of life, the flaming goal

I seek through mazy pathways strange and new.

Imagery


Poetic devices continued
Poetic Devices Continued . . .

Symbolism

Metaphor

Your lips are the red symbol of a dream,

What visions of warm lilies they impart,

That line the green bank of a fair blue stream,

With butterflies and bees close to each heart!

Brown bees that murmur sounds of music rare,

That softly fall upon the langourous breeze,

Wafting them gently on the quiet air

Among untended avenues of trees.

Imagery

Personification

O were I hovering, a bee, to probe

Deep down within your scented heart, fair flower,

Enfolded by your soft vermilion robe,

Amorous of sweets, for but one perfect hour!

Imagery


Rhyme
Rhyme

  • The rhyme scheme is ABAB

A

B

A

B

Your lips are like a southern lily red,

Wet with the soft rain-kisses of the night,

In which the brown bee buries deep its head,

When still the dawn's a silver sea of light.


Speaker tone
Speaker & Tone . . .

  • Uses a lot of imagery and similes

  • Speaker is Claude McKay

  • TONE

    • Soft

    • Light

    • Calm

    • Respectful


Works cited
Works Cited...

  • http://www.poemhunter.com/claude-mckay/biography/

  • http://streetpoetsnyc.com/claude-mckay/


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