“If We Must Die” Poem By Claude McKay

Posted: 15/09/2011 in Caribbean, History, Inspirational, Jamaica, Literature, Poetry
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THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVOURITE POMES AND I FELT TO SHARE IT TODAY. WRITTEN BY CLAUDE MCKAY IN  1919 (SEVEN YEARS AFTER LEAVING JAMAICA); The poem was a response to the vicious and horrible treatment of Black Soldiers after they returned to the US after fighting for the US in World War 1. The Poem was used several times throughout time for various reasons. Once it was used by Winston Churchill to rally London after the city was bombed by Nazi planes.

‘If we must die, let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Making their mock at our accursed lot.
If we must die, O let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!
O kinsmen we must meet the common foe!
Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one deathblow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!’

  1. Grace Twumasiwaa Opare says:

    In fact Claude McKay is a poet and an author who will always be remembered for his good works and his love for the black race.McKay , you will always be in the hearts of Blacks.


  2. Akilah says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I’ve always loved this poem! I have the audio of it on a CD, and it reminds me of the tenacity of our people.


  3. leisad says:

    Claude McKay was a great author and poet.


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