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Poem by James Weldon Johnson

The Suicide

For fifty years,
Cruel, insatiable Old World,
You have punched me over the heart
Till you made me cough blood.
The few paltry things I gathered
You snatched out of my hands.
You have knocked the cup from my thirsty lips.
You have laughed at my hunger of body and soul.

You look at me now and think,
"He is still strong,
There ought to be twenty more years of good punching there.
At the end of that time he will be old and broken,
Not able to strike back,
But cringing and crying for leave
To live a little longer."

Those twenty, pitiful, extra years
Would please you more than the fifty past,
Would they not, Old World?
Well, I hold them up before your greedy eyes,
And snatch them away as I laugh in your face,
Ha! Ha!

James Weldon Johnson

James Weldon Johnson's other poems:
  1. And the Greatest of These Is War
  2. Sence You Went Away
  3. Dat Gal o' Mine
  4. 'Possum Song
  5. The Ghost of Deacon Brown

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Thomas MacDonagh The Suicide ("Here when I have died")
  • Edna Millay The Suicide ("ФCurse thee, Life, I will live with thee no more!")

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