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Langston Hughes: The Harlem Dream Essay

1744 words - 7 pages

During the 1900’s many African Americans moved from the south to the north in an event called the Great Migration. Many of the southern African Americans migrated to a place called Harlem. This is where it all began. Harlem became the breeding ground for blues, jazz, and gave birth to a new generation of Negro Artist. They referred to themselves as the New Negro. The New Negro was the foundation for an era called the Harlem Renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance allowed for the manifestation of the double consciousness of the Negro race as demonstrated by artists such as Langston Hughes. During the height of the Harlem Renaissance Langston Hughes created poetry that was not only artistically and musically sound but also captured a blues essence giving life to a new style of poetry as it depicted the African American struggles with self and society. One thing is for sure, Hughes consistent use of common themes allows them to be the very basis of the Harlem Renaissance. Langston Hughes is one of the most influential icons of the Harlem renaissance because of his poetry and musical talent.
Langston Hughes was one of the most influential poets during the Harlem Renaissance. With the use of blues and Jazz Hughes managed to convey a range of different themes all revolving around the Negro. “[Langston Hughes] The first poet to transform the idioms of blues and jazz into poetic verse” (Johnson and Farrell 55). This use of blues in written work was called the blues aesthetics. Hughes’s “Bound No’th Blues” is a perfect example of the Blues Aesthetics. “The blues reflects the trials and tribulations of the Negro in America on a secular level” (Waldron 140). “Bound No’th Blues” reflects the journey of a southern African American who migrates to the North and directly speaks of his sorrows. The poem talks about being lonely and sad, but no able to trust friend treated him bad. So, he went on being lonely and sad carrying his burdens of life. The verses convey the very ability of the blues during the Harlem Renaissance as a channel for African Americans to release their frustrations through the music. The blues was the heart of Harlem as African American artistry grew in number and popularity. A very important detail in identifying the blues is structure. Blues is created in the AAB structure. This is used in this poem also. If you look closely at the end of each sentence rather than the actual line you will find the same AAB structure but there are slight alteration within it, for example in the first stanza uses lawd, road, and load. “The repeated first line has dropped a word, and the repeated second line has changed by dropping on word and adding other in its place. This changing of lines helps keep the flow of the poem without ruining the effectiveness of the repetition” (Waldron 142). Much of the language and raw emotions conveyed within Langston Hughes’ poetry and other written work directly correlates to the blues.
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