Comparing the Poetry of Lanston Hughes and Countee Cullen

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Comparing the Poetry of Lanston Hughes and Countee Cullen Upon first glance the differences between Hughes and Cullen seem very clear. Hughes writes in rhythm, while Cullens writes in rhyme, but those are just the stylistic differences. Hughes and Cullen may write poems in a different style but they both write about similar themes. The time they wrote in was during the Harlem Renaissance, a time period when African Americans were discovering their heritage and trying to become accepted in the once white dominated society. The African Americans had their own cultures and their own style of music and writing but they wanted everyone to know they were still human, that they were still American, even though the differences in color were apparent. During this era African Americans were facing the challenges of accepting their heritage or ignoring outright to claim a different lifestyle for their day to day lives. Hughes and Cullen wrote poems that seemed to describe themselves, or African Americans, who had accepted their African Heritage and who also wanted to be a part of American heritage as well. These are some of the things they have in common, as well as what is different about them based on appearance, now I shall focus on each author individually and talk about how they are different afterwards. Lanston Hughes focuses more on rhythm then on rhyme, for example, the poem "The Weary Blues" reads like a blues song, which is what the poem is about. "Mother to Son" is a conversation a mother has to a child about what era life has been, and that no matter how hard life may seem, one should never give up climbing the "stairs". The poem seems to shift from good English to Black English and then back again, which to me shows... ... middle of paper ... ... different authors from two different ways of life could write poems in different styles about the same topics. Hughes with his blues infused poems and Cullen's with his "Negro spirit and Christian upbringing" (Ferguson), both of these men inspired hundreds of people and their work can still make an impact on those that read it. It sure did for me. I recommend these poems to anyone, and I hope that everyone can enjoy and appreciate them as much as I have. Works Cited Tracy, Steven C. Langston Hughes & The Blues. Illinois, 1988. Ferguson, Blanche E. Countee Cullen and the Negro Renaissance. New York, 1066 About Countee Cullen's Life. 21 Mar. 2001. Modern American Poetry. 11 Nov. 2003 Langston Hughes. Apr 3, 2002. 11 Nov. 2003

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