Essay about Harlem Renaissance Poets: Countee Cullen and Langston Hughes

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Right after the World War I, the majority of African Americans moved from South to the North of the United States. New economic and artistic opportunities led them to create and identify themselves in their own culture and heritage. This movement is well-known as the Harlem renaissance. It was accompanied by new lifestyle, music styles, and plenty of talented writers. This paper discusses two poems from this period: Heritage, written by Countee Cullen, and The Weary Blues, written by Langston Hughes.
There is a lot of mystery about the early life of Countee Cullen. He was adopted at age fifteen, and liked a singing of his adopting mother. According to Nelson (2000), that might be the reason why Cullen perceived poetry as muse-song.
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The explicit use of genders men and women also suggests double-consciousness; it is like two continents Africa and America. These images can be also interpreted as external and internal, public and private, or tangible and intangible; again a double. The author imagines Africa through different images such as listening to the barbaric birds’ songs, drums, jungle, or “trampling tall defiant grass.” Another double meaning can be seen in the last few lines in the second stanza that point to the slavery and awakened pride of black. “Silver snakes that once a year Doff the lovely coats you wear” is a perfect example of a double-consciousness. Snakes represent the heritage of the African culture, and “coats you wear” the American because regardless his origins, he was born and grew in America. “What is last year snow to me, Last year’s anything? The tree budding yearly must forget how its past arose or set” is a great expression how his feelings should change toward the past (origins, Africa) because even the trees do that. “Last snow” represents the African origins. As he is now American his roots are the past. Another element of the
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