The Reality Of Loss By Robert Hayden

2227 WordsApr 5, 20169 Pages
Grace Uwase Mrs. Atkins AP Literature April 7, 2014 Unalterable reality It’s fair to say that loss has the power to bring out people’s innermost behavior, and this is why Robert Hayden uses it to reach out to the best in humanity. If a mother was to realize that she was losing her child, she’d do whatever it took to prevent it. And if she lost him, she’d need a lifetime to come to terms with it. But she would feel worse knowing that her child existed somewhere, in a place she couldn’t reach and knew nothing of. Hayden, with his most fascinating technique, managed to channel his personal experience in African American history, using what he knew to shape and make sense of the unknown. His unique ability to use African American race to talk to all “citizens of earth” is remarkable. Of his many themes, accepting and coming to terms with the reality of loss is one that hasn’t been really explored. In an African American voice, Hayden warns that in a world that’s ever changing, loss is undesirable and unfair, but yet it’s unpreventable. He makes it clear that the only way to succeed is not fighting it, but accepting and moving on, a theme undoubtedly influenced by his childhood. Hayden was born into a poor family that gave him up for adoption because they could not support him. William and Sue Ellen Hayden gave him the name Robert Hayden, but they did not change it legally, nor did they adopt him legally, as he talks about it in the poem “Names”: When my fourth decade came, I
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