“I love this cultured hell that tests my youth”

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America

Claude McKay

Although she feeds me bread of bitterness,
And sinks into my throat her tiger’s tooth,
Stealing my breath of life, I will confess
I love this cultured hell that tests my youth.
Her vigor flows like tides into my blood,
Giving me strength erect against her hate,

Found via the Poetry Foundation’s Poem Sampler:

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