The Poems of the Harlem Renaissance Essay

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The Poems of the Harlem Renaissance

I think the poems of the Harlem Renaissance do carry the tradition of poems with a message. For the three poems that I have studied I have explained their message and how they made the message. The two poems I studied which were by the same author were "Harlem" and "As I Grew Older" they were by Langston Hughes, the other poem was by Countee Cullen and is called "Any Human To Another".

Langston Hughes' poem "Harlem" has a message that a dream deferred can only go bad and has negative consequences. Throughout the poem Hughes uses senses to convey his message these senses are: sight, smell, taste, hear and touch. ' Does it dry up Like a raisin in the sun' this
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For example ' or fester like a sore and then run?' This means does your dream worsen and become infected with horribleness and devastation.

The second stanza includes questions, senses and similes. This stanza conveys the majority of the message in the poem, ' does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?' meaning once left does it dry out is the enjoyment sucked out and do you not want to go back to it. ' Does it stink like rotten meat?' Meaning does it smell is it not approachable. On the second to last verse Hughes says ' Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.' Meaning maybe it weighs you down and you carry it around with you not wanting it. Finally the climax of "Harlem" is 'Or does it explode?' This is special because Hughes chose to write it in italics, it means does it eventually wreck you life and destroy you.

The reason why this poem is called Harlem is because of the place Harlem in New York City. At the time that this poem was written there was a Renaissance in Harlem, (renaissance means re-birth) Harlem is were a lot of black people's dreams were not achieved at this time.

Another poem of Langston Hughes that proves this point is "As I Grew Older". This poem shows more clearly the message -that because of racial problems Hughes was not able to achieve his dreams until he broke free from these problems. At the start of the poem Hughes

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