Born ten years after the death of Walt Whitman, there was no possible way for Langston Hughes to ever meet or communication with Whitman, but that did not mean Hughes could not establish a connection to him, or at least his work. In 1925, Hughes wrote a poem titled “I, Too” was inspired by and directed in response to the poem “I Hear America Singing”, which was composed by Whitman much earlier. Whitman’s poem consisted of a variety of different American laborers who “sing” as they do their jobs. This well-known poem never specifically addresses the ethnicity of these singing laborers of the American population, but Hughes sets about to rectify that omission.
Maya Angelou’s poem “Still I Rise,” written in 1978, acknowledges the racism and segregation during the Civil Rights Movement. During this time, although no longer slaves, the African Americans have been given little rights and opportunity in America. Maya Angelou wrote this poem to prove to other American citizens that she is unfazed by their hate, while she strengthens her people’s motive to reach equality. Angelou utilizes metaphor, imagery and repetition to reveal how proud she is of her minority’s strength.
It is often inferred by many people that have read both Walt Whitman's poem “I Hear America Singing”, and Langston Hughes poem “I, Too, Sing America”, that one is a response to the other. Walt Whitman was an extremely famous poet and still is presently. His poem was very patriotic and inspired a lot of people. Langston Hughes did not see the poem in a positive way. In what many think is a retaliation to the poem, Langston Hughes wrote “I, Too, Sing America”. Langston Hughes’s poem “I, Too, Sing America” builds on and compares with Walt Whitman’s poem in many ways, it says we all Americans, they sound very much alike, we need to be together as one.
America is a country that has been through many different times of trials. Wars and disease have spread across that nation several times. During times of depression, though, a group of people seems to always emerge from the destruction. That group of people are the poets and writers of America. Through trial and strife, writers are able to find inspiration for their works, and are able to give readers hope for a better day. Walt Whitman was an amazing writer who wrote several poems concerning the great United States of America, talking about the people that have built the nation up from the dust. But, a group of people that Whitman forgot to write about on most occasions were the slaves and black people of which America thrived. Langston Hughes was a black man in the 20th century that took note of Whitman's poems, and their lack of recognition towards his people. Whitman wrote a poem called, "I Hear America Singing," in which Hughes wrote the poem, "I, Too Sing America," in response. In the poem by Hughes, there are several different ways that the writing interlaces with Walt Whitman's.
– Let America be America again). The poems display images of hardship and frustration. They both speak of a difference within races and also what the life in America is different from the eyes of someone who isn’t white.
The poems “ I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” and “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou are both poems that speak on the issues of the mistreatment of African Americans, and how these challenges were created simply by the color of one’s skin and overcome. While the poems “Mother To Son” and “ Dreams” by Langston Hughes refer to the hopes of African Americans for a better standard of living, and the consequences of departing from these dreams of bettering themselves. This comparison of these four poems is important because all four aim to better society for African Americans, and inform the population struggles that they maybe be able to relate, and provide them with the inspiration to keep pushing forward. These poems explain why the desire for equality was so important to African americans at this time, and what they had to go through to get it. I believe that these poems are all used as methods of expression, information, as well as rebellion against the racial in injustice that was suffered for so long.
In this paper I will be talking about the similarities and differences in the two different poems. The two poems were written by two incredible poets and were probably one of the best in their lifetimes. The first poem is written by Walt Whitman and is called “ I Hear America Singing”. The other poem is by Langston Hughes and is called “I, Too, Sing America” .Many people believe that Langston Hughes wrote his poem “I, Too, Sing America” in response to Walt Whitman's poem “ I Hear America Singing”. Some people have a completely opposite opinion and say that the two poems have nothing to with each other. Langston Hughes did many things in his life. Some of them include being an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and a
The voice of one person can send a profound sound into the hearts of people to help liberate one’s mind. That profound sound is seen through poetry. The creative structure and style of poetry creates a different form of writing that can either have rhythm, alliteration or have a direct message. In the poem “I Too Sing America”, by Langston Hughes had a significant message in that he desired to voice his expression on the issue of black oppression in America. Langston basic themes focused on the American Dream and the possibilities of hope and advancement were constantly present in his poetry. The tension between the unrealized dream and the realities of the black experience in
The poem “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou, addresses White people who discriminate African Americans. During this period of time, Black people were not being treated equally, with this poem Angelou wants to defend African Americans. As a civil rights activist it is her job to fight for people's rights. By employing simile, imagery, and repetition, Angelou defends African Americans against their oppressors and shows that people have to be confident and strong, and not feel put down but rise above their problems.
Langston Hughes and Claude McKay share similar qualities in their respective poems “I, Too, Sing America” written by Hughes and “America” written by McKay. These poems, though different and unique in style, share common characteristics that make each poem a classic piece of American literature. Hughes and McKay, both African American males, were very notable during the Harlem Renaissance period. Both writers express their views on their individual African Americans perceptions in America in these poems, through their use of diction, tone, theme.
“Still I Rise”, written by African-American writer Maya Angelou, includes a character who rises “Up from a past that’s rooted in pain.” No matter what words are said against her, lies are told about her, threats are made towards her, or words are written against her, she takes the past and uses it to fuel her confidence. The way she writes creates a deep sense of pride and feeling, while giving the poem life and helping the audience realise that they, too can rise. The diction, literary devices, and theme help the speaker portray her feelings about the topic of oppression in her experience.
In the fight for equality, people of color often feel isolated and separated from those whose privilege reinforces their oppression. However, there are and always have been white people who see the inequalities that are practiced in society and speak out against them in hopes of reaching equality for all. Langston Hughes used his voice in poetry to express his experience as a black man in the United States during the Civil Rights Movement, and his is a household name. There is no doubt that his words have power. The reader expects to feel his experience and gain empathy and understanding through his poetry. In his poem, “Let America Be America Again,” Hughes presents his experience of American life in a powerful contrast to the experience
Set in America, the poem follows a man, potentially Walt Whitman, as he celebrates the pride found in an American citizen. Several careers are described throughout the poem in an effort to accentuate the amount of effort Americans put into their labor each day. Aside from no apparent significance to the structure and syntax of the poem, the author’s profound diction, such as blithe, melodious, delicious, and robust, emphasizes the honor the author feels towards Americans and their efforts. Whitman’s use of figurative language in his poem, “I Hear America Singing”, can be found through the individuals who are “singing”. Although the singing stated within the poem may be literal, it also demonstrates the passion and pride that the workers held
In the poem ‘Still I Rise’ by Maya Angelou, the poet uses repetition, metaphors and similes to express to her audience about how she has overcome racism in her life through demonstrating a strong, proud and defiant attitude to inspire others.
‘Still I Rise’ was written by an Afro-American poet Maya Angelou and consists of a mixture of tones, such as: playful, angry, comical and bitter. Slavery was long abolished but Angelou saw its effects on society and black people. In this poem she declares that no hatefulness of society will determine her success. In the poem ‘Still I Rise’ she is not only proclaiming her triumph but also calls others to stand up for themselves and live against society’s expectations.