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2020-11-19 13:21:27
McKay, Claude
Spring in New Hampshire and Other Poems.
Grant Richards, London, 1920. First edition of McKay's seminal volume of 31 poems including iconic works such as Harlem Dancer and The Lynching, published in London shortly before his return to America as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance. Octavo, original wrappers, frontispiece. Boldly signed by the author underneath the frontispiece, In very good condition. Books signed by McKay are rare. Here "McKay's affection for the sonnet, the 'little song' of 14 lines his grand style favored," stands out, affirming his influential view of "the sonnet as an exceptionally transnational poetic design. In McKay's conception it ranked as a fellow vagabond equipped with centuries of worldly advice on living through the century of the color line. For him, the sonnet's thousand preceding voices whispered lessons for the emergence of black literary modernism" (Maxwell, ed., Complete Poems, xxxiv-vi). His sonnets are an elemental bridge between the "formally conventional critiques of racism offered by Phillis Wheatley, Frances E.W. Harper, James Corrothers and Paul Laurence Dunbar and the radically thematic and experimental affronts of those who came after him. Linking the past with the present, the old with the new, McKay's Harlem poetry. adds another dimension to our understanding of the complicated ways in which race, modernity and modernism intersect" (Hathaway et al., Race and Modern Artist, 64). All but five of the 31 poems here were reprinted in full in Harlem Shadows (1922), with "The Choice" (37) reprinted there as "The Wild Goat" (Hathaway, 57n). "Love Song," "Reminiscences," "Suke … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: Raptis Rare Books, ABAA/ ILAB [Palm Beach, FL, U.S.A.]
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