If We Must Die
BY CLAUDE MCKAY
If we must die, let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Making their mock at our accursèd lot.
If we must die, O let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!
O kinsmen! we must meet the common foe!
Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one death-blow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!
Reviews of McKay's poem suggest that it turned those who were persecuted into heroes and describe it as a "call to arms for workers".
John Agard: Windrush Child
Poem from Under the Moon & Over the Sea by John Agard
palm trees wave goodbye
seabirds asking why
blue water rolling by
your Windrush mum and dad
think of storytime yard
and mango mornings
and new beginnings
doors closing and opening
will things turn out right?
At least the ship will arrive
in midsummer light
and you Windrush child
think of Grandmother
telling you don't forget to write
and with one last hug
walk good walk good
and the sea's wheel carries on spinning
and from that place England
you tell her in a letter
of your Windrush adventure
stepping in a big ship
not knowing how long the journey
or that you're stepping into history
bringing your Caribbean eye
to another horizon
Grandmother's words your shining beacon
learning how to fly
the kite of your dreams
in an English sky
walking good walking good
in a mind-opening
meeting of snow and sun
From Under the Moon and over the Sea.