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Countee Cullen's Poetry In The Poetry Of Countee Cullen

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In the time of the Harlem Renaissance, a large amount of poets let their words speak for them, allowing for inspiration and influence to show emotion and sound. Harlem was home to some of the most famous poets in history and among some of them, Countee Cullen rose to his peak in the middle of the Harlem Renaissance writing poetry. Countee Cullen was a distinguished poet of the twentieth century and created a story through his words to influence the world of Harlem and those who read it. Through Countee Cullen 's unique interpretations of the world, he used hostility as a tool, only to enlighten the people who read his poetry, in order to show how he lived in Harlem and how his experiences are clear repercussions that are shown within his poetry.…show more content…
However, his two poems named Heritage and Yet do I Marvel compare a subject that Countee Cullen was very passionate about.. In the Harlem Renaissance, Africa became "the universally acknowledged motherland to all African American" however, most of the writers and artists did not identify with the cultural but nonetheless, "made Africa a central space…" in the writings of these African American artists. Although Cullen was considered an African American, the white society assumed that all Blacks knew about Africa and knew of the culture. Cullen was using his poetry as a way to cry for help, or a desperate attempt in trying to educate the public about the African American 's who lived in Harlem. Cullen is known for using African motifs in his poetry, and each one of them has meaning. There is never a word placed or a phrase used by Cullen that didn’t have an underlying message. So through his poem Heritage, he starts by writing such an intimate question, "What is Africa to me:". The first line of this poem is like a slap to the face for anyone who has ever assumed that all Blacks know, or come from [having lived or been to] Africa. "Copper sun or scarlet sea, Jungle star or jungle track," The poem itself is very sarcastic, as if to show the reader that Cullen is just making up lines to match the stereotype of Africa. Now, although Cullen has been to certain parts of Africa, he doesn’t know what it 's like to live there or grow up in it 's culture, or even to know the geographical concept of Africa. Throughout Heritage, Cullen uses African motifs as well as some biblical allusions. Referring back to Cullen 's early life, his parents abandoned him as a child, leaving him to grow up in a Methodist parsonage. Therefore, it 's not unusual to have biblical references within his poetry, however the mention of Africa such as "silver snakes", which were used twice, and
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