Arguing for Authenticity: A Comparison and Contrast of Two American Modern Poets, Robert Frost and Langston Hughes

Arguing for Authenticity: A Comparison and Contrast of Two American Modern Poets, Robert Frost and Langston Hughes

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“[F]uture commentators on American poetry and political issues will not be able to ignore [historical context of the author]” argues Barry Ahearn, author of the article “Poetry: 1900 to the 1940’s,” which discusses the importance of the “authentic voice of the region” in poetry that gives each work legitimacy (Ahearn 373). The author uses criticism regarding various authors and responds to each with a different argument, such as the mentioning of alcohol in female poetry versus using the “cultural cliché … of Appalachian moonshine” in female poetry (Ahearn 372-373). Ahearn discusses writers such as: Sterling A. Brown, Langston Hughes, H.D. (Hilda Doolittle), Robert Frost, Robinson Jeffers, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Lorine Niedecker, George Oppen, John Crowe Ransom, Charles Rezikoff, Muriel Rukeyser, Gertrude Stine, Wallace Stevens, Sara Teasdale, William Carlos Williams, and Louis Zukofksy. The purpose of mentioning so many others, so claims Ahearn, is to gather a survey of works between 1900 and the 1940’s. The author talks more about some writers more than others; for instance, Ahearn points out William Carlos Williams and Wallace Stevens differing qualities to the point of describing them as so opposite that they are, in fact, almost dependent on each other. For the purposes of this paper, however, I will be examining how the author discusses Langston Hughes and Robert Frost; both of which he describes in great detail. The discussion of these writers creates a wide range of Modernist authors that influenced each other and the people who read their works. The author claims that it is the authenticity of the writer that creates a more accurate work of literature, and the life experiences of these authors, that adds to th...


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...thesis statement. The individual sections of this article were well written and each seemed to have its own thesis statement. Each section could be expanded and turned into a very interesting paper on its own. Though it seems that the author wanted to talk about too many authors at one time, creating an article that gives many ideas, but not as much connectivity or flow.



Works Cited
Barry Ahearn. "Poetry: 1900 to the 1940s." American Literary Scholarship 2008 (2008): 365 386. Project MUSE. Web. 28 Mar. 2012. .


Works Cited
Barry Ahearn. "Poetry: 1900 to the 1940s." American Literary Scholarship 2008 (2008): 365 386. Project MUSE. Web. 28 Mar. 2012. .

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