More than just a Poet Before even graduating from college, Langston Hughes’ name was becoming known around the country for his writing. His first major poem, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” written at just seventeen years old, gave way to a forty-year career of popular writings for the author. Known as one of the most iconic African-American writers of his time, Langston Hughes had a major influence on American Literary History. He was known for and as the people’s poet, use of jazz blues, and life experiences. Langston Hughes was known for being one of the most favored, if not the most favored, African-American poet and short story writers of the twentieth century.
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
Born in 1941 in New York, Billy Collins has grown to become an excellent writer. He currently appointed as the Poet Laureate of the United States. Billy Collins poems discuss human experiences with in life to relate to the reader. The experiences discussed or remembrance, questioning, and love. A common theme of life that can be seen "Nostalgia" is remembrance.
In most poems, the tone often represents the underlying meaning of the selection. Billy Collins goes against those standards and uses comedy while also having serious undertones. Hailing from New York City, Billy Collins grew up in a middle-class family. His background is often evident in his writing, making him one of the most popular poets in America. He served as United States Poet Laureate (2001-2003) and New York State Poet Laureate (2004-2006), one of the most prestigious positions as a poet.
Research reveals that even before the United States was a nation, black women found ways to express themselves through the written word. Writing efforts of black women have begun with Lucy Terry’s work Bars Fight, and continued with Phyllis Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral which was published 1733 (Nellie McKay, 152-153). Dorothy West is one of the greatest African American writers and being a prolific writer has written passionately on various themes and subjects. Lawrence Rodgers in his review on African American literature has expressed his views on Dorothy West’s novel, The Living Is Easy. In his point of view West’s first novel is easily identified as a satiric picture of Boston’s counterfeit bourgeois, its black middle class and as a novel that indicts black society arterially modeled on false white values (162).
Readers are able to gain a deeper understanding of the poem “truth’’ when they view the poem after learning about Gwendolyn Brooks’ life and times. We were able to understand the poem better when the text said, “...with several of her poems reflecting the civil rights activism of that period…(“Poetry is life distilled”-paragraph 1).” As a rule, when an author is passionate about a subject, they often reflect that in their writing. By examining Brooks’ background as a civil rights activist, the reader is able to connect passages of the poem, such as the light/sun metaphor “and if sun comes how shall we greet him”(“truth” by Gwendolyn Brooks), with the civil rights movement and as a time where everyone can be treated as equal. We are also able
She first believed in integration but later based her identity on her racial heritage when she heard Malcolm X say that blacks would never become part of America's mainstream. Her poems focus on the African American struggle for liberation from racial and economic oppression. She uses the language of the streets instead of the language of the academe. She became one of the first poets to combine ghetto impressions with lower-case characters, dashes, hyphenated collections, slashes, non-traditional punctuation and spelling, abbreviations, and further untried uses of terminology and framework to reinterpret what a poetry is, does, and for whom it is written. She has also composed poems in ballad form, letters, and haikus.
Authors have contributed to notion of self-esteem by looking for their character’s identity and by elevating the blackness and femaleness as the very basis of their existence, and most importantly by loving and respecting themselves. Critics recognize the relevance of Toni Morrison’s writing for the African-American community and its women. As Darlene Clark Hine suggests in Black Women in America encyclopaedia, “In her works, [Toni Morrison] strips away the idols of whiteness and of Blackness that have prevented Blacks in the United States from knowing themselves and gives them their own true, mythical, remembered words to live by”. SKIN COLOR AND RACIAL
Lewis Carroll is most greatly known for his nonsensical writing style throughout all of his poems and stories. Carroll’s interest in literature started at a young age, and his love grew for writing as he grew older. As Carroll began to embark on his adult life, after graduating college, his writings started being published and noticed. Carroll’s most successful stories, being Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass were also produced during this time. “Jabberwocky,” a poem from Through the Looking Glass, tells the story of a boy going on a quest to slay a horrible beast.
The poem I, Too, Sing America written by Langston Hughes shortly after World War II in 1945, is a lyrical poem about the neglected voices in America as a response to the Poem “I hear America singing.” During this time, African Americans were oppressed in society and they did not have equal rights to Caucasians. This poem expresses Langston Hughes hope for the future where black people are not oppressed when equality is achieved between races. This poem helps assert Langston Hughes’ ideas of racial pride, hope, and equality. Many black people fought in the war and after it ended, they still did not have equality, which caused questions of why they were not equal if they fought against another country. In the poem, Langston Hughes outlines the African American, as not being recognized as having a place within society, and being an oppressed group of people.