Poetry for a Generation

1184 WordsFeb 24, 20185 Pages
Poetry for a Generation “We Negro writers, just by being black, have been on the blacklist all our lives. Censorship for us begins at the color line” (AfricanAmericanQuotes). Langston Hughes was an African American poet who made poetry that reflected what he witnessed in the urban communities throughout his life. Langston Hughes’ poetry spoke the words, feelings, and hardships that African Americans had to live with on a day to day basis. Though bi-racial, Langston Hughes knew very clearly what was hard for the typical African American, what was emotional unsettling for the typical African American, and what seemed unclear for the typical African American. His poems like The Weary Blues, The Negro Speaks of Rivers, and Harlem reflected that he knew this very well. The formula Langston Hughes used in his poetry not only got the attention of his peer African Americans, but it also got the attention of White America. By using his figurative language, tone, diction, and sound he was able to do so. In a poem published by Langston Hughes in 1926 called The Weary Blues the speaker uses musical diction when describing the Negro piano player. The speaker describes the piano player’s music as a “drowsy syncopated tune”, adding sound when he says the player made the “piano moan with melody” (The Weary Blues 10). In the book Langston Hughes: Comprehensive Research and Study Guide Braxton Miller describes this poem in particular as one that “clarifies the thematic unity and diverse

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