Essay on Harlem Renaissance Poets

1206 Words Feb 2nd, 2013 5 Pages
The first poet I chose from the Harlem Renaissance was the American poet, Countee Cullen This 1920s artistic movement produced the first large body of work in the United States written by African Americans. (Brown, 2012) The work, Yet Do I Marvel, took a racial theme, lynching of a black youth for a crime he did not commit. The poem is stark and makes reference to Sisyphus and speaks of how life is a struggle up a never ending stair. It speaks to God as if to wonder why, knowing that God is benevolent he does not stop the unreasoning actions of brutes against, “flesh that mirrors him”, meaning the black race. (Brown, 2012) This line is important as it shows that the black consciousness is coming to recognition of their own worth taken …show more content…
(Brown, 2012) Many of Cullen's early poems appeared in the school literary magazine, The Magpie.
After graduating, Cullen entered New York University, where his works attracted critical attention. Cullen's first collection of poems, Color was published in the same year he graduated from NYU. Written in a traditional style, the work celebrated black beauty and deplored the effects of racism. (Brown, 2012)
Cullen was a really good student and attended Harvard. He had been a Phi Beta Kappa at NYU and he went continued to write once he got to Boston. (Brown, 2012) He traveled to and from Europe and stayed quite a bit in France. He had a brief marriage that ended in a divorce and did not wish to pursue this again for a while then finally remarried later in life./
One of the things that make Cullen an important poet of this time period was the fact that he not only promoted his own works but those of other black renaissance poets. His own poetry slowed down for a while and he had one book, One Way to Heaven which was comedic in nature. (Brown, 2012) It was his only novel and revolved a lower-class black family and the classes of New York City. He stayed in New York his whole life and taught English, French and creative writing at a Frederick Douglass Junior High School. (Brown, 2012). He published two books of poetry aimed at young blacks during this time.
Another great black Harlem Renaissance writer was Angelina Weld Grimke. She was born
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