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Short poem

Claude McKay (1889-1948)

On Broadway

              1About me young careless feet
              2Linger along the garish street;
              3    Above, a hundred shouting signs
              4Shed down their bright fantastic glow
              5    Upon the merry crowd and lines
              6Of moving carriages below.
              7Oh wonderful is Broadway -- only
              8My heart, my heart is lonely.

              9Desire naked, linked with Passion,
            10Goes trutting by in brazen fashion;
            11    From playhouse, cabaret and inn
            12The rainbow lights of Broadway blaze
            13    All gay without, all glad within;
            14As in a dream I stand and gaze
            15At Broadway, shining Broadway -- only
            16My heart, my heart is lonely.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Harlem Shadows: The Poems of Claude McKay, with an introduction by Max Eastman (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1922): 12. PS 3525 A24785 H3 Robarts Library.
First publication date: 1920
Publication date note: Cambridge Magazine (Summer 1920).
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1998.
Recent editing: 2:2002/4/4

Rhyme: aabcbcdd

Other poems by Claude McKay