A Comparison Of Two Poems By Black Poets<Tab/>

932 words - 4 pages

Countee Cullen and Langston Hughes are two of the most recognized African American poets of the Harlem Renaissance. Countee Cullen's "Yet Do I Marvel" and Langston Hughes' "I, Too" are comparable poems in that their similar themes are representational of the authors' personal tribulations of racial inequality. By comparing these two poems, we get a glimpse of the reality of the injustices of racism during the 1920's by two prominent Black poets.Cullen and Hughes were born within a year of each other, and consequently wrote these poems in the same year (1925). This is significant because it reflects the time in which racial inequality was prominent. Both poets were struggling with their emotions of being African American minorities in a society of White superiority. Their poems reflect the injustice of racism, which is especially revealed in Langston Hughes' poem "I, Too".Most poems are filled with symbolism and abstract ideas, and "I, Too" is an example of such. This poem does not rhyme, nor meter patter truly be measured. In order to understand and grasp the meaning behind this poem, it needs to be read a few times. Sometimes certain aspects of a poem can be overlooked. For example, in the first line of the poem, "I, too, sing America" (line 1), Hughes cleverly uses an allusion as he is referring to Walt Whitman's, "Song of Myself", which entails similar themes. In Hughes' poem, the speaker is addressing the country as a whole. Hughes' use of excellent language and vivid imagery effectively expresses the speaker's feelings towards racism.This poem explores the injustices of racism through the eyes of a black servant working for a white family. He tells us that he is sent to the kitchen when company comes. Every time he is sent away, instead of demonstrating anger, he laughs. This demonstrates that the speaker is a strong character with self poise. Hughes' uses metaphor when he says "tomorrow" (line 8). He is indicating that the word "tomorrow" implies the future. He has faith that in the course of time, everyone will become equal, "Tomorrow, /I'll be at the table /When company comes. /Nobody'll dare/Say to me, /"Eat in the kitchen,"/Then." (lines 8-14). The speaker then explains that America will be ashamed of having discriminated against him and other African Americans. The point that Hughes is trying to make clear is that African Americans are Americans too, thus they should not be discriminated against for the color of their skin.The themes represented in Hughes' poems are similar to those exemplified in Countee Cullen's poem, "Yet Do I Marvel". However, a major difference between the poems lies in the format. Cullen's poem is a sonnet, with a rhyming scheme of ABAB BCBC DD EE FF GG (every other line rhymes, with the exception of the last two which rhyme...

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