Monday, June 17, 2019

Harlem Renaissance poets Assignment Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 words

Harlem Renaissance poets - Assignment ExampleHarlem Renaissance Poets Project cover Signifi basince of Jean Toomers and Langston Hughes Roles in the Harlem Renaissance A mere fact will suffice to encompass a mans life. In Jean Toomers case, that fact pertains to P. B. S. Pinchback, Toomers maternal grandmother who served as acting governor of Louisiana (Ramsey, 2003). In Langston Hughes case, the fact pertains to Hughes stint as a bellhop in a Washington, D.C. hotel where he managed to persuade a prominent, literary hotel guest to read three of his poems which led to the inauguration of Hughes literary career (Lewis, 1994, p. xxv). What can we infer from these facts? The obvious inferences are that Toomer was rich and Hughes was poor. The not so obvious inferences are that their names are remembered, and they are remembered on the strength of the experimental unfermented Cane, in Toomers case and speaking for myself, in Hughes case, for bold pronouncements such as If white people a re pleased we are gladIf dark-skinned people are pleased we are glad. If they are not, their displeasure doesnt matter either (Lewis, 1994, p. xxx). Toomer, who wasnt as outspoken as Hughes, wouldve applauded Hughes for Hughes was alluding to artistic license which bows to no ideology, political agenda, nor common goal. Alas, artistic freedom will only get you so far, for what is required is talent and, when the going gets tough, genius. It goes without saying that Toomer and Hughes had talent. Lets see where it took themartistically.... It goes without saying that Toomer and Hughes had talent. Lets see where it took themartistically. Double-consciousness in the Poems of Toomer and Hughes In the poem Cotton Song, Jean Toomer introduces a syntactical shift in the third base stanza, going from Standard American English to American dialect of the Deep South. This is a manifestation of double-consciousness. How do we explain it? We dont. What we do is read the subscriber line We ain t agwine t wait until the Judgment Day (Toomer,1993, p. 9), and let the words do their magic. I doubt a five hundred knave biography, describing the hardscrabble life of an American Negro cotton picker at the turn of the 20th century could do as well and as a lot in evoking the feel and texture of a time and place, which no longer exists, than this one extraordinary, singular line of verse that flouts all convention of Standard American English, and gets away with it. And Toomer gets away with it because his English is otherwise prim, neat, and familiar. Consider the last four lines of his poem the November Cotton Flower Superstition saw/ Something it had never seen before/ chocolate-brown eyes that loved without a trace of fear,/ Beauty so sudden for that time of year (Toomer, 1993, p. 4). In November Cotton Flower, the double-consciousness is semantic, the miraculous transformation of a cold, drouth stricken land to a blooming field of cotton. In Langston Hughes poem The Negro speaks of Rivers, a Negro speaks in the first person while invoking the poem. The double-consciousness is discernable in the use of the third person in the title. Its as if the poet has split himself in two and the older, wiser version of

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