Alliteration In Harlem

745 Words3 Pages
Langston Hughes was probably one the greatest poets ever lived. He was better known as the Jazz Poet during the Harlem Renaissance, and he was also one of the leaders of the Harlem Renaissance too. In history I learned, that the Harlem Renaissance was a rebirth period of African-American arts using dance, music, poems, articles, stories, plays and paintings. Most of the arts reflected on the hardship of the African-American community past and present during that time. Hughes wrote "Harlem" in 1951, the poem addressed as one of his most common themes of the American Dream for African Americans. The poem has eleven short lines in four stanzas, and all but one line are questions. In the poem the author is explaining what could happen when dreams…show more content…
The author is explaining their situation and how it is quite difficult for them to escape their reality to achieve a better life for themselves. “Harlem”, is a lyric poem that is short, expresses the thoughts and emotions of the speaker. With irregular rhyme and an irregular metrical, the poem has a rhythmic, repetition of certain words, rhyme, lyrical quality achieved through alliteration and carefully placed stressed syllables. Hughes uses alliteration and similes in the poem. Alliteration is the repetition of a consonant sound. “What happens to a dream deferred? / Does it dry up” (lines 1-2). Similes use like, as, or than to make comparisons. Hughes was comparing a dream to a heavy load. “Maybe it just sags /like a heavy load.” (lines 9-10). This poem reflects on reality for many of the individuals who lived in poverty and the ones who are trying to get out of these types of situations. The speaker wonders what happens to a deferred dream. It is not entirely clear who the speaker is, perhaps the poet, or a professor, or an undefined black man or woman. In stanzas 2-11, the speaker wonders “if it dries up like a raisin in the sun? / Or fester like a sore- / and then run?”. Hughes uses imagery such as: a dried up raisin that festers, a sore, rotten meat, syrupy sweet, heavy load, explode (Harlem 2-11). Each image is strong enough to make the reader smell, feel, and taste these delayed
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