Langston Hughes Poetic Devices

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Langston Hughes was one of the most influential figures during the Harlem Renaissance, which was a time when African Americans were finding their role in American Society. During this era some of the best jazz musicians to this day such as Count Basie, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong heavily influenced this movement. One of Langston Hughes poems, “Trumpet Player” portrayed how these musicians used jazz to express themselves and escape from the racial inequality at the time.
Part I: Scansion and Analysis
Trumpet Player is a short poem with a very moving and deep message. It is composed of six stanzas, the first four stanzas consist of eight lines, and the last two stanzas are comprised of four lines and one coda. Each stanza
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Overall, the larger theme that this poem addresses is racial issues during the Harlem Renaissance, which was a time when African Americans were fighting for racial equality. The speaker is a talented trumpet player. The listener can hear as he describes his intense feelings while he plays his beautiful music. The trumpet player seems to be an intelligent yet rebellious man who wants his voice to be heard. Langston Hughes employs many poetic devices throughout his poem. He uses imagery when he says “from the trumpet at his lips/is ecstasy” (22-23) which is visually descriptive when he describes the beautiful music that his trumpet creates. When he wrote “mixed with liquid fire” (20) he used an oxymoron because fire is not liquid. He compared his hair to black and used a simile when he said “patent - leathered now/until it gleams/like jet” (13-16). Throughout his poem he uses the word “negro” several times as an assonance because he wanted to emphasize the point that it is not any man playing the trumpet it is a “negro” playing the trumpet. Metaphor was used several times throughout this poem; one example is “the music from the trumpet at his lips is honey” (9-11) this device helps the reader imagine the pleasant music coming from the trumpet. The tone of this passage is very
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