McKay 's and Hughes 's writing served as a socially motivated voice for justice. Though these poets told their poems through a first-person narrative, they spoke about issues facing black people as a whole. McKay and Hughes paved the way for the discussion of immoral and inhumane ongoing treatment of black Americans in the early 1900s. Both dedicated to themes centered on black Americans and urban life, their works were seemingly political because of the topic of racial issues which were accompanied by very hopeful and activist
Poets also use this technique of memory in poems making their poems more meaningful. Technically speaking, it is a fascinating way to write a poem and what will be discussed regarding this technique of 'memory' is the role of memory, good and bad effects of using this technique and the general idea behind using this technique. Specifically relating to a poem by William Wordsworth called "Composed a few miles above Tintern Abbey, on revisiting the banks of the Wye during a tour. July 13, 1798." Now speaking about role of memory, it has certain properties depending on the type of poem we are writing.
Contemporary spoken word poetry started in America, in the 1950s as an underground political movement. Spoken word poetry started as a grassroots, underground political movement in the urban areas of the USA, which included hip-hop culture as well as rap music to performance techniques. The poets addedhip hop culture and rap music to their narrative performances to help them to express themselves, their lived experiences and social realities (Sommers-Willett, 2006). The Mayhem Poets (2008/2009) noted that both the Beat Poets and Bam created poetic gestures that were simple and spoke to the immediate culture, energy and needs of the people. This was in contrast with the more ‘theory based academic’ aims of modern writers and critics.
Two examples of this are Terrence Hayes and Harryette Mullen who are both amazing at what they do as poets as well as creating a ton of great and award-winning poetry collections which drew readers into reading and trying to interpret their poems. Terrence Hayes drew his inspiration for his poetry through the genre of Hip Hop. Hayes makes the inspiration that he has from Hip Hop very clear in some of his poems such as emcee by using references from certain songs or things that everyone expresses or knows when they are in a certain location (Hayes 3). On the other hand, though some of his poems don 't show right away the Hip Hop inspiration elements making those poems a puzzle to try to interpret what the references are if there are any, the inspiration behind the poem, or even what the poem is even
Robert Lowell is a brilliant writer and poet. He is one of the genius’ of his time. Paul N. Calvert said, “The period in which Robert Lowell wrote has been called “The Age of Lowell,” a testament to his genius as a poet.” Lowell was born on March 1, 1917 and died on September 12, 1977. Throughout his life time, Lowell wrote many poems and even a few books. But Lowell is mostly famous for his works of poetry and the movement in which he utilizes.
Many African American musicians, artists, and writers blossomed as instigators for this cultural awakening, like Zora Neale Hurston, Claude McKay, and of course Langston Hughes to name a few (Hutchinson, p.1). Langston Hughes was a pioneer of contemporary African American literature. His work, Montage of a Dream Deferred, is comprised of several poems which read as one, centered mainly on the African American community in post World War II Harlem. The overarching motif is of the dream deferred, which was Hughes’ way of responding to racial oppression in America. The dream deferred refers to how there is the American dream, which exists for white Americans, and the dream deferred reflects on how the ideals of the American dream do not always include all people, like African Americans, Jewish people, and any person who has heard “the music of a dream deferred” (Hughes, p.425).
In “I’m a Fool to Love You,” Eady makes another definition for the blues and uses literary elements like metaphors and similes while discussing a destructive kind of love and the challenges that people face when trying to get over them. Eady conveys the meaning of the blues by using different elements and strategies.
“The only things artistic that have yet sprung from American soil and been universally acknowledged as distinctive American products.” (Revered African American poet James Weldon Johnson,1920s) From James, we can know the importance of blues in American music history, certainly, it also confirms that that music which belongs to black music is received public recognition even if society exists racial discrimination. Blues was a tool people used to express their moods at the beginning. “The blues is both a state of mind and a music which gives voice to it. Blues is the wail of the forsaken, the cry of independence, the passion of the lusty, the anger of the frustrated and the laughter of the fatalist. [The] blues is the personal emotion of the individual finding through music a vehicle for self-expression.” (Paul Olive, The Story Of The Blues, 1998) And the basic function became a vital feature.
Through his poetry, he depicted the African American experience in a country that was still very segregated and race oriented. He drew attention to the joys and struggles the African American life entailed. His work was not only incredibly influential at the time but had a huge impact on the decades that were to come. Langston Hughes’ poems and writings contributed directly to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, in which thousands of protests were mounted with the goal to end legalized racial segregation and discrimination laws in the United States. His poem “Harlem” which will be analyzed below, inspired Martin Luther King, one of the most influential voices and leaders of the Civil Rights Movement to give his speech “I Have a Dream."
Black poetry in the early 20th century was widely influenced by these common blues themes. Specifically, popular black poetry from the 1920’s to the 1960’s shared these themes of sadness and tragedy, thus emitting a “blues aesthetic.” (Thompson 1) One example of this “blues aesthetic” in black poetry is within Sterling Brown’s pieces. In a piece of his titled “Ma Rainey,” he speaks of the aftermath of the Mississippi River flood that occurred during