“I, Too” and “Incident” are both are lyric poems. The “Incident” is more of a narrative that drifts on the past, while the speaker in “I, Too” instead thinks about the plausible future. Hughes wrote a free verse poem, which is ideal for envisioning the future because it leaves more flexibility for imagination. Cullen wrote a metrical verse poem – alternating between iambic tetrameter and iambic trimester – that consists of ballad stanzas to form an orderly structure with patterns just as a storyline does. An abrupt contact of irrational abhorrence was what inspired the “Incident”, while “I, Too” was inspired by racial segregation. The purpose of these poems was to see racism through an optimistic point of view, which Hughes successfully conveyed, and through the perspective of an innocent child, which Cullen had portrayed through his work. The poems are very typical, which is how the poets are able to gain empathy from readers. The poets were able to construct a self for th...
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..., which was demonstrated when the black child wanted the approval of the white child. However, Hughes’ speaker validates that we do not need admiration from others to feed to so-called appetite; which refers to self-satisfaction. These experiences affected the speakers in different ways; it impacted the speaker in “Incident” in a deconstructive way, whereas it impacted the speaker in “I, Too” in a constructive way.
Hughes, Langston “I, Too.” Poems, Poets, Poetry: An Introduction and Anthology. 3rd ed. Ed. Helen Vendler.
Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010. 501-502. Print.
Cullen, Countee “Incident.” Poems, Poets, Poetry: An Introduction and Anthology. 3rd ed. Ed. Helen Vendler.
Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010. 450. Print.
Poems, Poets, Poetry: An Introduction and Anthology. 3rd ed. Ed. Helen Vendler. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010. 183. Print.
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