Claude McKay (1889 - 1948) was a Jamaican writer who produced poetry, short stories, novels, and nonfiction. The son of prosperous farmers, Claude was well educated and began writing poems at the age of ten. The poem is written as a narrative poem. Claude is witnessing the sunrise, as the sun rays blanket New York City. He is very observant and explains to us the atmosphere that was surrounding him that morning when he watched the sunrise in New York City.