Analysis of Countee Cullens Yet Do I Marvel Essay

Analysis of Countee Cullens Yet Do I Marvel Essay

Length: 1186 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Analysis of Countee Cullens Yet Do I Marvel


Poetry is often meant to be smooth, flowing, pleasing to the ear and the mind. To achieve this effect, many poets use different poetic techniques to help convey the meanings of their poetry. In the sonnet, 'Yet Do I Marvel' written by Countee Cullen, many different features of poetry is used. In this essay, I will discuss the relationship between the meanings and the theme Cullen tries to convey in his sonnet and the techniques of metaphors, both religious and non-religious, allusions to Greek mythology, different rhyme schemes and repetition that he uses.

In his sonnet, Cullen uses strong themes of religious metaphors while adding many non-religious metaphors at the same time. The continuing theme throughout the sonnet is the mysteriousness of God, and how He is unwilling to share the secrets of the universe by answering the speaker's questions. Cullen begins with stating that his belief in God is that God is good natured, 'I doubt not God is good, well-meaning, kind,' (Line 1). The first line briefly makes your mind question the sentence while you experience the starting of the theme. Using different metaphors, Cullen vividly expresses his confusion of what the purpose of his existence is and why God does what he does. 'And did He stoop to quibble could tell why / The little buried mole continues blind, / Why flesh that mirrors Him must some day die,' (Lines 2 - 4). In these lines, Cullen clarifies his position with God in stating that his questions are but 'quibble' to God, thus putting himself far below God. Cullen uses the metaphor of the mole to represent how he is blind to the reasoning of God's actions, while at the same time questioning God of why a little mole continues to live blind. In the next line, Cullen uses a biblical metaphor when mentioning 'flesh that mirrors Him' as it is in the bible that it states 'God created Adam in His image.' Cullen refers this flesh to be humans and questions God for the purpose of death. Using these metaphors, Cullen creates a more vivid image in the imagination than he would if he were to question God outright. ?Why flesh that mirrors Him must some day die,? carries many more metaphorical images than ?Why do we die?? does, and that is one of the efforts and understanding Cullen is most likely trying to convey in his sonnet.

Cullen?s brilliant...


... middle of paper ...


...t a view of life, that is "black," and at the same time God made him a poet?someone who is supposed to study the world around him and express what he or she sees in words and verses. Cullen marvels at God's decision to have someone tell the world of the "blackness? which he sees. In this case, the person God has decided to tell the world is the speaker himself and Cullen contemplates what possible motivation would God have for doing this. In using constant repetition of the theme, Cullen allows the theme to clearly stand out and show itself without having to hide behind words with deeper meanings. This is effective for emphasizing the theme and ensuring that it is easily understandable.

Metaphors, allusions, rhyme scheme and repetition are all techniques that Cullen used in his sonnet to improve the understanding and assist the interpretations of the poetry. His use of metaphors painted pictures in the mind while his allusions told stories with merely a few words. Rhyme scheme and repetition both assisted in the emphasis of the theme and worked exceptionally well. It is in works such as Cullen?s ?Yet Do I Marvel? that poetry and philosophy come together in a warm embrace.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

An Analysis of Countee Cullen's Any Human to Another Essay

- An Analysis of Countee Cullen's “Any Human to Another” Countee Cullen was man who struggled to be called a “poet” instead of a “Negro poet.”  His life during the Harlem Renaissance was filled with inequality and prejudice.  These facts have lead many analysts to perceive his poem “Any Human to Another” as a cry for racial equality.  However, Cullen’s manipulation of structure, imagery, and symbols in the poem reveals that his true theme is that all humans are individually unique but must live together in harmony and equality, caring for and helping each other....   [tags: Countee Cullen Any Human to Another]

Strong Essays
897 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on Marvel Of Marvel : Marvel

- Marvel Worldwide Inc., commonly referred to as Marvel Comics and formerly Marvel Publishing, Inc. and Marvel Comics Group, is an American publisher of comic books and related media. In 2009, The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Entertainment, Marvel Worldwide 's parent company. Marvel started in 1939 as Timely Publications, and by the early 1950s had generally become known as Atlas Comics. Marvel 's modern name dates from 1961, the year that the company launched The Fantastic Four and other superhero titles created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and many others....   [tags: Marvel Comics, Stan Lee, Fantastic Four]

Strong Essays
1606 words (4.6 pages)

Marvel Vs. Marvel Of Marvel Essay

- The world has rivalries that are destined to stand the test of time.. Some continue on as each one grows in popularity. Some end up as unlikely partnerships. There has been Street fighter vs Mortal Combat, RoboCop vs Terminator, and Mario vs Sonic. One of the biggest rivalries have been Marvel vs DC. What was once an argument that took place inside schools, at lunch tables and recess, has now spilled over into a fight that has boosted the fame of Hollywood. These two comic book titans have taken the rivalry to a level where the entire film industry works around whatever each of them are doing....   [tags: Superhero, Superman, Stan Lee, Marvel Comics]

Strong Essays
1207 words (3.4 pages)

Analysis of Something Simple, Yet Complicated Essay

- Analysis of Something Simple, Yet Complicated In canto VII of The Inferno, Virgil and Dante are among the hoarders and wasters in circle four. Dante gets curios the “Fortune” that Virgil speaks of and asks: “Master, Tell me-now that you touch on this Dame Fortune-what is she, which she holds the good things of the world within her clutch?” Virgil responds to his question in a deep lengthy reply in this passage: And he to me: “O credulous mankind, Is there one error that has wooed and lost you....   [tags: Literary Analysis]

Strong Essays
859 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on The Life and Legacy of Countee Cullen

- Countee Cullen was possibly born on May 30, although because of different accounts of the actual date in his early life, a general application of the year of his birth as 1903 is reasonable. He was either born in New York, Baltimore, or Lexington, Kentucky. Although his late wife was convinced that he was born in Lexington. Cullen was possibly abandoned by his mother, and raised by a woman named Mrs. Porter. Mrs. Porter was thought to be his paternal grandmother. Porter brought young Countee to Harlem when he was nine....   [tags: race, poetry, religious]

Strong Essays
758 words (2.2 pages)

Countee LeRoy Cullen's Life and Accomplishments Essay

- Countee LeRoy Cullen was one of the leading poets of the Harlem Renaissance. Although there is no real account of his early life, his accomplishments throughout his time was magnificent. During the Harlem Renaissance, he and other writers and poets used their work to empower blacks and talk about the ongoing struggle of blacks. His poem, “Incident”, depicts how overt racism was and how it attacked anyone regardless age or gender. Countee Cullen Born on May 30th, 1903, Countee LeRoy Porter is an African American poet, anthologist, novelist, translator, and children's writer....   [tags: harlem renaissance, countee cullen, racism poems]

Strong Essays
1295 words (3.7 pages)

The Marvel Of Paradoxical Phenomena Essay

- The Marvel in Paradoxical Phenomena God and the suffering He seems to allow is the paradoxical question posed since the start of religion. Philosophy and literature alike have long struggled with the issue, and poet Countee Cullen takes yet another crack at it in the poem “Yet Do I Marvel”. Cullen uses rhyme, classical allusion, and Shakespearean sonnet form in “Yet Do I Marvel” to exhibit God’s paradoxical nature and purpose the true marvel is in the miracles of life. Cullen opens the piece suggesting paradoxes which question the nature of God....   [tags: Poetry, Rhyme]

Strong Essays
1269 words (3.6 pages)

Inevitable Grief in Not Yet, Jayette Essay

- Inevitable Grief in Not Yet, Jayette In the short story "Not Yet, Jayette" by William Boyd, Charlie, the narrator and main character, describes a day in his life, and tries to understand, what is going on with him, and where and when his life took a turn towards misery. He states: "It seems to me that everybody in their life is at least two people. Once when you're a child, and once when you're an adult. It's the saddest thing." We will now try to see how this statement relates to his life, and whether or not this phenomenon can be said to be symptomatic for our culture....   [tags: Not Yet Jayette Essays]

Free Essays
736 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on The Work of Countee Cullen

- Countee Cullen's poetry was extremely motivated by race. He produced poetry that celebrates his African American Heritage, dramatizes black heroism, and reveals the reality of being black in a hostile world. In "Harlem Wine," Cullen reveals how blacks overcome their pain and rebellious inclinations through the medium of music (Shields 907). James Weldon Johnson said that Cullen was always seeking to free himself and his art from these bonds (Shields 905). In "Yet Do I Marvel," Cullen raises questions about the motivation God might have had in making a poet black in bidding him sing in a world that is fundamentally racist and that does not readily accept the creative work of African Americans...   [tags: Poetry]

Strong Essays
1867 words (5.3 pages)

Countee Cullen Essay

- Countee Cullen was a prominent American poet and was known as the “poster poet” of the 1920 artistic movement called the Harlem Renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance produced the first African American works of literature in the United States. There were many leading figures in the Harlem Renaissance such as James Weldon Johnson, Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, Wallace Thurman and Arna Bontemps. Cullen was simply an amazing young man who won many poetry contests throughout New York, published two notable volumes of poetry (Color and Copper Sun), received a master’s degree from Harvard University and married the daughter of W.E.B Du Bois, a founder of the NAACP....   [tags: essays research papers]

Strong Essays
563 words (1.6 pages)