Una Marson – “There Will Come A Time”

“Each race that breathes the air of God’s fair world
Is so bound up within its little self,
So jealous for material wealth and power
That it forgets to look outside itself
Save when there is some prospect of rich gain;
Forgetful yet that each and every race
Is brother unto his, and in the heart
Of every human being excepting none,
There lies the selfsame love, the selfsame fear,
The selfsame craving for the best that is,
False pride and petty prejudice prevail
Where love and brotherhood should have full sway.”

— Excerpt from, “There Will Come a Time” a poem by prolific Jamaican writer and activist Una Marson.

Source: Tumblr.

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Una Marson – Poetry: “Politeness”

Politeness
by Una Marson

They tell us

That our skin is black

But our hearts are white.

We tell them

That their skin is white

But their hearts are black.

Source: Tumblr.

Una Marson’s Poems

Poetry

Following on from my previous post about Una Marson,try as I might, it is almost impossible to find any poems on the Internet by Una Marson. Some years ago, I came across a website which featured quite a few of her poems and I wish I’d made a note of some of them in order to show them here. Sadly I can only find excerpts from some poems, and I know this isn’t quite what I intended to do, but I think an excerpt from a poem is better than none at all!

(…)
God keep my soul from hating such mean souls,
God keep my soul from hating
Those who preach the Christ
And say with churlish smile
“This place is not for ‘Niggers’.”
God save their soul from this great sin
Of hurting human hearts that live
And think and feel in unison
With all humanity.

UNA MARSON, Title: Nigger

Source for poem: Tumblr.

A Memory of June by Claude McKay

 

“… body was a lute
Whereon my passion played his fevered song”.  Wow!  Amazing poetry!

A Memory of June

When June comes dancing o’er the death of May,
With scarlet roses tinting her green breast,
And mating thrushes ushering in her day,
And Earth on tiptoe for her golden guest,

I always see the evening when we met–
The first of June baptized in tender rain–
And walked home through the wide streets, gleaming wet,
Arms locked, our warm flesh pulsing with love’s pain.

I always see the cheerful little room,
And in the corner, fresh and white, the bed,
Sweet scented with a delicate perfume,
Wherein for one night only we were wed;

Where in the starlit stillness we lay mute,
And heard the whispering showers all night long,
And your brown burning body was a lute
Whereon my passion played his fevered song.

When June comes dancing o’er the death of May,
With scarlet roses staining her fair feet,
My soul takes leave of me to sing all day
A love so fugitive and so complete.

Spring in New Hampshire by Claude McKay

Spring in New Hampshire
Too green the springing April grass,
Too blue the silver-speckled sky,
For me to linger here, alas,
While happy winds go laughing by,
Wasting the golden hours indoors,
Washing windows and scrubbing floors.

Too wonderful the April night,
Too faintly sweet the first May flowers,
The stars too gloriously bright,
For me to spend the evening hours,
When fields are fresh and streams are leaping,
Wearied, exhausted, dully sleeping.

 

After the Winter by Claude McKay

I love this poem.  I want to live in that cottage beside the open glade and look at ferns that never fade!

After the Winter

Some day, when trees have shed their leaves
And against the morning’s white
The shivering birds beneath the eaves
Have sheltered for the night,

We’ll turn our faces southward, love,
Toward the summer isle
Where bamboos spire to shafted grove
And wide-mouthed orchids smile.

And we will seek the quiet hill
Where towers the cotton tree,
And leaps the laughing crystal rill,
And works the droning bee.
And we will build a cottage there
Beside an open glade,
With black-ribbed blue-bells blowing near,
And ferns that never fade.

 

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Alexis Chateau

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