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McKay, Claude. "I Shall Return".


The speaker announces that he shall return again to enjoy the natural sceneries and the scenes of joyful people. Motifs of colour wind throughout the whole poem: the noon is golden, the forest fires sent black smoke to a blue sky, the river baths the brown blades of grass. He also describes the joyful scenes of music and village dance.

The conclusion explains that the speaker seeks to return to ease his mind of "long, long years of pain."



- a sonnet form

- celebrates nature, life, and possibly freedom

- may apply to the feelings of being home-sick, the speaker may seek to return to the sites of his childhood or to his home country (Jamaica)


  • Author

    McKay, Claude. (1889 - 1948).
  • Full Title

    "I Shall Return".
  • First Published

  • Form


Works Cited

McKay, Claude. "I Shall Return". (1920). In: The Harper American Literature. Ed. Donald McQuade et al. 2nd Compact Edition. NY: Harper & Collins, 1996.


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