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To what extent do you feel the poems of the Harlem Renaissance Continue the tradition of poems with a message?

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To what extent do you feel the poems of the Harlem Renaissance Continue the tradition of poems with a message? Make sure you discuss how the poets use language to convey their message. I think the poems of the Harlem Renaissance do carry the tradition of poems with a message. For the three poems that I have studied I have explained their message and how they made the message. The two poems I studied which were by the same author were "Harlem" and "As I Grew Older" they were by Langston Hughes, the other poem was by Countee Cullen and is called "Any Human To Another". Langston Hughes' poem "Harlem" has a message that a dream deferred can only go bad and has negative consequences. Throughout the poem Hughes uses senses to convey his message these senses are: sight, smell, taste, hear and touch. ' Does it dry up Like a raisin in the sun' this uses the sense of sight while 'Does it stink like rotten meat?' uses the sense of smell. These phrases do show he uses he senses but it also shows he uses imagery. Hughes uses similes to show the message ' or crust and sugar over- like a syrupy sweet?' This means that does it go bad and once you go back to it isn't wanted. Is it disgusting not wanting to see. ...read more.


At the start of the poem Hughes refers to a long time ago when his dream was in front of him. He says of how he had nearly forgotten it but it was still there as important as it was when he first thought of it. He uses similes 'Bright like a sun my dream.' He refers to his dream as the sun like it shone around him and he looked up to the sun (his dream) In the second stanza Hughes talks about a wall rising 'and then the wall rose, rose slowly, slowly.' This wall is a wall of racial issues that blocked out the sun; he uses repetition to get his message across to the audience. In the rest of the verse Hughes talks about the sunlight dimming and that the wall rises and completely blocks out the sunlight. Hughes then says 'shadow. I am black.' He has realised that he's black and because of this he's in a shadow. He's in a shadow because the wall of his race blocked out any hope of achieving his dreams. The way Hughes writes this verse is forceful because he writes it in two short, sharp and dramatic sentences. Which also gets the message to the reader. In the second to last stanza Hughes describes his giving up 'I lie down in the shadow. No longer the light of my dream before me.' ...read more.


Hoy is difficult to share because everyone deals with grief and sorrow sometime in there lives. Countee Cullen goes on to say ' Your very grief like a blade shining and unsheathed must strike me down.' This simile means that your grief is like a blade and will hunt me down and hurt me as it does to you. The final part of "Any Human To Another" is 'of bitter aloes wreathed my sorrow must be laid on you head like a crown.' Meaning our sorrows, our grief will be shared with me. The crown creates an image of a crown of thorns, which may also remind you of when Jesus was put on the cross with a crown of thorns on his head. The three poems I have written about all carry on the tradition of poems with a message. The 1920's and 30's saw a flowering of African-American art known as the Harlem Renaissance. The writers had three central messages: 1) To define and renew black heritage 2) Protest oppression of blacks 3) Make other Americans aware of black culture] The first two poems "Harlem" and "As I Grew Older" are both about the same thing, dreams. "Harlem" is talking about dreams being delayed and going bad and "As I Grew Older" is about black people not being able to achieve their dreams. While "Any Human To Another" is about people sharing grief and sorrow and have compassion. These three poems are linked because they use similes, metaphors, personification and imagery to get across their message. ...read more.

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