The Space Between: Literature and Culture 1914-1945

Claude McKay’s Workers’ Dreadnought Poetry (1919-1920) | The Beast

The Beast (July 10, 1920. Signed as Hugh Hope)

The statesmen-hirelings its favour seek.
    And the world’s news is under its control;
​Great are the powers of the mighty clique
​    That owns the slaving peoples, body and soul.
Down in its shops and offices and streets
​    The toilers struggle, sullen, underpaid,
And pinch-faced poverty proud Plutus meets,
    And pimps and harlots ply their wretched trade.
And in its gorgeous halls where gold holds sway
​    The smirking mother offers her young daughter
​To haughty men for whom all women are play
​    Or babes, or ornaments, or sheep for slaughter:
​Its system makes men parasites or brutes
    And tends to make all women prostitutes.

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