Poetry Assignment

Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes lived long and interesting life. He has written a great number of novels and plays, short stories and critical essays, was good in translations, and collected folklore anthology. Nevertheless, the true identity of his talent was revealed in the verses. That is why Langston Hughes became one of the largest national poets of the twentieth century. Langston Hughes has touched major social and racial problems in his works. The issues of racial transition, discrimination and exploitation of the black population in American society and the questions interracial marriages were among them. Literary critics have noted the symbolic beginning of the feminine presence, even in the works of the writer, where a woman is present as a hero. 

Langston Hughes works combine traditional genre of the novel features and artistic originality, characteristic of the author. Traditional features include a pronounced fable, dynamism, tension, and action, etc. Artistic originality is manifested in the special rhythm of the narrative (based on the rhythms of black music), a major role of the internal monologue of the hero, landscape paintings, color, and other contrasts, the active use of phonetic features of speech of African Americans and other features.

What can be liked in the works of Hughes, he have paid much attention to the confrontation between the different racial communities. However, he rejected the idea of art's ability to solve social problems of racist America. The heroes of the poems of Hughes are people of different nationalities, who live geographically in very different places. The very life of the writer, full of travel, communication with famous people and his work was the personification of globalization. It has influenced the works of the author greatly.

What is remarkable, Langston Hughes using a variety of artistic media implemented a peculiar embodiment of the ideas of the Harlem Renaissance. Writer actively implemented the blues motives into the texts of his poems, giving them the narrative rhythm, using repeats variations on the same theme. In addition, the author was using a form of internal monologue of the hero to transmit the essence of blues and jazz as specific Negro musical styles. Hughes reflects on writing phonetic features of speech of blacks. Almost all the poems of the writer describe the dialogic on different levels. In a small prose of Langston Hughes, a large part of the content belongs to the landscape, which often becomes an almost equal participant in the action, accompanying characters, explaining their feelings and moods, serving as a summary of thought. The writer often uses color and other contrasts. In addition, for stories of Langston Hughes pronounced characteristic of the classic fable, dynamic, intense action, and the presence of a turning point in it.

The poems of Langston have something special in them, so when one reads them aloud – the real magic happens. The rhythm of the blues changes the atmosphere in the room. Such poets are significant for the development of the society as a whole. With the amount of the special themes, the poetry of Langston Hughes remains to be the chronicle of the Harlem Renaissance. Therefore, it is good for everyone to read such poetry in order to understand the nature of the times that passed by. The general impression cannot be combined with anything in the world. 

Langston Hughes left a significant mark in many areas of American culture of the mid-20th century. He was a journalist, editor, writer of plays, novels, memoirs. He made a significant contribution to the literature of his time. Nevertheless, his legacy to future generations begins with his poetry as a unique phenomenon of African-American culture.


Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson is one of the most enigmatic figures in the history of world literature, both in human and in artistic terms. Her artistic career is extraordinary: her whole life, even next-door neighbors had no idea that she writes poetry. For a long time, even her relatives who live with her in the same house had no idea about her talent. Her first book, published posthumously in 1890, attracted almost no attention. Emily Dickinson met the phenomenon that sometimes happens with the poets - she was ahead of her time. In the XIX century, she was verse, too original, individual, consequently she was not understood. However, she penetrated into the untrodden realm of the spirit and paved the way of poetry of the XX century.

As in the verses of her direct predecessors - Puritan New England poets XVII-XVIII centuries, a unique place in the lyrics of Dickinson takes the Bible. Researchers, who have undertaken to highlight the "Bible" in the poems of hers, found it almost the entire body of her work. Even the texts in which there have been no mentions of the events and characters from the Bible, one way or another she contacted with it. When not writing about those issues, Emily focused on the eternal theme of poetry: nature, love, life, death, immortality. The characteristics of her poetry are the originality of interpretation, which is an organic reaction of the ordinary and philosophical plans; dominant place occupied by the question of immortality; as well as unusual in the literature of the XIX century form of expression.

One of the main themes of the works of Dickinson is immortality. In her opinion is not a posthumous fame in the works of Dickinson. The death for her is not the end of all and hopelessness because faith in the Savior provides "eternal life." She has also a quirky understanding of love, which is rather charming. She describes love not as a purely spiritual union, as if it is in the majority of romantic poetry, but like the heavenly revelation. Actually, this is a deeply Christian interpretation of love, which includes different shades of a comprehensive and self-sufficient, like the love to God, for example.

What is peculiar about the poems of the author, the concept of the works of Emily Dickinson has an original, religious and philosophical meaning. That is positive feature of them. It gives the reader strong emotions while reading. However, these concepts for her are not an abstraction, but something very real and concrete. Her poems, as a rule, are very short, and they are dedicated to everyday life events (morning, clover flower, the well in the garden). However, every little part of it has a secondary philosophical meaning. 

In her work Emily Dickinson shows a type of consciousness, formed under the influence of Puritan spiritual culture. The New England Puritanism transfigured her romantic attitude, which has not always a played positive role in the readers’ impression. Light, easy, romantic irony paints even the most profound poems and reflections of Dickinson, so they are not philosophical treatises and sermons, but they are a little game in the form of the poem.

Innovative and original poem by Emily Dickinson seemed to her contemporaries to be "too subtle", then generally "formless". However, this style is the most remarkable thing about the works of the poet, which distinguishes her from other representatives of the epoch. Her poetic technique belongs only to her. It has some peculiarities that cannot be taken away from. First of all, conciseness, which dictates skipping unions to truncate rhyme and sentences. The originality and impact of the invention of the poet system of punctuation - in wide use dashes, emphasizing rhythm, and capital letters, highlight key words and emphasize the meaning. This form is generated by the inability to write smoothly and the desire to stand out, because she wrote only for herself and for the God. Moreover, Emily had the desire to highlight the very grain of thought without husks, with no shiny shell. It is also a kind of rebellion against the then-fashionable word "curls".

Dickinson natural form of poetry was a determined thought. Moreover, its partial, wrong style and jerky rhythm swings itself unevenness of her poetry is now seen as a metaphor for life and the environment. Actually, while Emily Dickinson has come only in the 50-70-ies of XX century, when one of the most important trends in American poetry became philosophical lyrics, filled with complex spiritual and moral collisions. The innovative and free style of the author ceased to shock already accustomed to hearing dissonance countrymen.

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