Essay on Comparing the Poetry of Lanston Hughes and Countee Cullen
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Comparing the Poetry of Lanston Hughes and Countee Cullen
Upon first glance the differences between Hughes and Cullen seem very clear. Hughes writes in rhythm, while Cullens writes in rhyme, but those are just the stylistic differences. Hughes and Cullen may write poems in a different style but they both write about similar themes. The time they wrote in was during the Harlem Renaissance, a time period when African Americans were discovering their heritage and trying to become accepted in the once white dominated society. The African Americans had their own cultures and their own style of music and writing but they wanted everyone to know they were still human, that they were still American, even though the differences in color were…show more content… An idea of focusing more on the American than on the African.
Cullen's poems seem to focus a lot more on the African heritage than on being an African American. His use of rhyme instead of just rhythm makes his poems flow well with his images and views. "Heritage" is clearly a poem about how African Americans should embrace their African heritage, and to remember all that African Americans had to go through to be what they are today, and to always fight to preserve their culture. Not only do African Americans need to understand their heritage but they must also show all of America that they are there and that they are Americans too. There are also African Americans who will not accept the simple fact that all are Americans, and they will still separate white from black, as is seen from the poem "Uncle Jim". " "White folks is white," says uncle Jim", show to me that not all African Americans were ready for this new awakening and new point in history, that they were so set in their ways that there was no changing them.
Hughes and Cullen are very similar, which really makes this comparison paper hard to write. Even though each poems were written in a different style, Hughes had his "Musical and stanzaic structures" (Tracy) and Cullen's had his rhyme with emotion, they both wrote about the same things, and seemed to preach the same