Friday, 11 March 2016

The Spanish Needle - Claude McKay

Lovely dainty Spanish needle
With your yellow flower and white,
Dew bedecked and softly sleeping,
Do you think of me to-night?

Shadowed by the spreading mango,
Nodding o'er the rippling stream,
Tell me, dear plant of my childhood,
Do you of the exile dream?

Do you see me by the brook's side
Catching crayfish 'neath the stone,
As you did the day you whispered:
Leave the harmless dears alone?

Do you see me in the meadow
Coming from the woodland spring
With a bamboo on my shoulder
And a pail slung from a string?

Do you see me all expectant
Lying in an orange grove,
While the swee-swees sing above me,
Waiting for my elf-eyed love?

Lovely dainty Spanish needle,
Source to me of sweet delight,
In your far-off sunny southland
Do you dream of me to-night?

Claude McKay (1889 - 1948) Jamaica
Source: Famous Poets and Poems

  • Spanish Needle - Bidens alba, a plant considered by many as a weed, but whose leaves are edible and can be used as medicinal remedies.
  • Swee-swee - The green-rumped parrotlet (Forpus passerinus) is a small Neotropical parrot that makes a "see-swee" sound

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