Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Like a Strong Tree

Like a strong tree that in the virgin earth 
Sends far its roots through rock and loam and clay, 
And proudly thrives in rain or time of dearth, 
When the dry waves scare rainy sprites away; 
Like a strong tree that reaches down, deep, deep, 
For sunken water, fluid underground, 
Where the great-ringed unsightly blind worms creep, 
And queer things of the nether world abound:

So would I live in rich imperial growth, 
Touching the surface and the depth of things, 
Instinctively responsive unto both, 
Tasting the sweets of being and the stings, 
Sensing the subtle spell of changing forms, 
Like a strong tree against a thousand storms. 

Credit


This poem is in the public domain. 

About this Poem


"Like a Strong Tree" appeared in The New Negro: An Interpretation (Albert & Charles Boni, Inc., 1925). 

Author


Claude McKay

Claude McKay, who was born in Jamaica in 1889, wrote about social and political concerns from his perspective as a black man in the United States, as well as a variety of subjects ranging from his Jamaican homeland to romantic love.

Date Published: 1925-02-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/strong-tree