7. Claude McKay, "If We Must Die"
Claude McKay wrote a poem of revolutionary content, "If We Must Die." The poem calls for counter-violence as a response to violence. Does the form of the poem - it's a traditional sonnet - enhance or possibly detract from the poem's message? Think about the relationship between form and content. Can form say something? It can. Poems say what they say through the form the poet chooses for them. What does this poem's form say?
1. read the poem: link to text
2. listen to McKay perform the poem: link to audio
3. read a passage from Melvin Tolson's review of the poem: link to text
4. watch a 19-minute discussion of the poem: link to video