Compare And Contrast Frederick Douglass And Gwendolyn Brooks

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In a letter to his brother, the great painter, Vincent Van Gogh, once wrote,“Poetry surrounds us everywhere, but putting it on paper is, alas, not so easy as looking at it”. In this quote, Van Gogh summarizes a subject great writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson has devoted entire essays to defining and explaining, and that is the subject of poetry. As it can be seen, a poet undertakes that almost impossible job of transposing what he or she sees in Nature on to paper for others to read. Only a true poet can be successful in an attempt. It is not just Nature a poet tries to capture into words, but also social experiences and human truths. Gwendolyn Brooks (1917- 2000) and Robert Hayden (1913-1980) are two Harlem renaissance poets who are experts in writing poems the detail both African American social experiences and universal human emotions. In Gwendolyn Brooks’s poem, The Explorer, the speaker tells the events of an unknown subject walking down a hallway searching for a quiet peaceful room in which to rest. In Frederick Douglass by Robert Hayden, the speaker voicelizes that when everyone receives freedom, then the great, historical figure, Frederick Douglass will be remembered eternally in the lives of everyday people. The Explorer by Gwendolyn Brooks and Frederick Douglass by Robert Hayden can be compared and …show more content…

First The Explorer uses the extended metaphor of a hallway to represent life to express the longing for peace, grief, and choices. In addition, the one traveling down the hallway isn’t the speaker but is an unidentified ‘He’, and this brings a universal perspective as ‘He’ becomes humanity as a whole. All the rhetoric Brooks uses drives the poem to show the universal experience of traveling through life making choices that define and change one’s

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