Comparing Poems 'Star Spangled Banner And' Let America Be America Again

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Frances Scott Key’s, “Star Spangled Banner” and Langston Hughes’ “Let America Be America Again” are poems from two American poets, but describe two very different American viewpoints. Using the poems’ structures, and poetic techniques, and overall messages, both Keys and Hughes demonstrate their unique perspectives about America that are both historically significant to helping readers better understand our country’s history.
Our National Anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner” was actually a poem originally titled “The Defence of Fort M’Henry” by Francis Scott Key who was actually a lawyer who wrote poetry as a hobby. Francis Scott Key wrote, “The Defence of Fort M’Henry” on September 14, 1814 after witnessing the British fleet’s bombardment …show more content…

The poem calls for the return of the great America that he and others have been promised. The poem is told in first person point of view indicating that Hughe’s is the speaker of the poem. Hughes uses the first person point of view to include his personal point of view of what it is like to be an African American. The people Hughes describes in his poem are mainly the poor, the immigrants, the African Americans, and the Native Americans. They are the people who have worked to find the American Dream, but have only found that it was not meant for them. In the beginning of the poem, the mood is patriotic and optimistic; however, the poem soon takes on a more serious tone by reminding the audience that America never lived up to its promises for so many people, and instead let them down. Hughes describes what it would mean to really have the America that people say exists and dream about. Near the end of the poem, the poem’s mood changes again. This time, the poet remains hopeful and optimistic that the original dreams for Americans are still possible. He claims, however, that it will require taking the country back from those who continue to take advantage of others and prevent them from truly achieving the freedom the country had promised them and which they …show more content…

The use of imagery along with historical context helps the reader better understand the meaning of the ,“Star-Spangled Banner.” The opening line of Key’s poem and song read, “O say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light, What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming?” The first line directly asks the audience if they can see the American flag still flying over Fort McHenry after a long battle that lasted throughout the night. This grabs the audience’s attention and includes them in the action of the poem. The imagery words, “dawn’s early light” help indicate that this poem was written in the early morning after witnessing a long battle that lasted late into the night (Academy of American Poets, “The Star-spangled Banner”). Key describes the flag as “hail’d to show their respect for the flag. Using the imagery words, “twilight’s last gleaming,” describe how it was the night before since the poet last could see the flag flying (Academy of American Poets, “The Star-Spangled Banner”). This imagery adds suspense and emphasizes how relieved and excited the poet was to see that the flag was still flying, which indicated that America had won

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