Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE HARLEM DANCER, by CLAUDE MCKAY



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THE HARLEM DANCER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Applauding youths laughed with young prostitutes
Last Line: I knew her self was not in that strange place.
Alternate Author Name(s): Edwards, Eli
Subject(s): Dancing & Dancers; Harlem (New York City)


Applauding youths laughed with young prostitutes
And watched her perfect, half-clothed body sway;
Her voice was like the sound of blended flutes
Blown by black players upon a picnic day.
She sang and danced on gracefully and calm,
The light gauze hanging loose about her form;
To me she seemed a proudly-swaying palm
Grown lovelier for passing through a storm.
Upon her swarthy neck black, shiny curls
Profusely fell; and, tossing coins in praise,
The wine-flushed, bold-eyed boys, and even the girls,
Devoured her with their eager, passionate gaze;
But looking at her falsely-smiling face,
I knew her self was not in that strange place.





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