Claude McKay: “And some called it the Resurrection flower…”


Claude McKay (Jamaican-American poet, 1889-1948)

“The Easter Flower”



Far from this foreign Easter damp and chilly

My soul steals to a pear-shaped plot of ground,

Where gleamed the lilac-tinted Easter lily

Soft-scented in the air for yards around;


Alone, without a hint of guardian leaf!

Just like a fragile bell of silver rime,

It burst the tomb for freedom sweet and brief

In the young pregnant year at Eastertime;


And many thought it was a sacred sign,

And some called it the Resurrection flower;

And I – a pagan – worshipped at its shrine,

Yielding my heart unto its perfumed power.