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Poem by Claude McKay
The Harlem Dancer
Applauding youths laughed with young prostitutes And watched her perfect, half-clothed body sway; Her voice was like the sound of blended flutes Blown by black players upon a picnic day. She sang and danced on gracefully and calm, The light gauze hanging loose about her form; To me she seemed a proudly-swaying palm Grown lovelier for passing through a storm. Upon her swarthy neck black shiny curls Luxuriant fell; and tossing coins in praise, The wine-flushed, bold-eyed boys, and even the girls, Devoured her shape with eager, passionate gaze; But looking at her falsely-smiling face, I knew her self was not in that strange place.
Claude McKay's other poems:
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