Harlem Renaissance Poets Essay And Poem

Introduction

Harlem renaissance was a movement that spanned the 1920’s. During this time, it was known as the new Negro movement named after the 1925 anthology by Alain Locke. The legacy of the Harlem Renaissance opened doors and deeply influenced the generation (Soto, 2008). Its writing luminaries include Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen and James Weldon Johnson as discussed in this research paper.

Langston Hughes

He was first recognizes as asignificant literary figure during the 1920’s a period of Harlem Renaissance because of the number of emerging black writers. He was a writer,whose pieces ranged from novels plays. He wrote short stories, children’s books,translations and anthologies as well. However, his most well-known pieces were poems. His writing reflected the idea that the black culture should be celebrated reasons being, it is just as valuable as white culture (Hill, 2001). He advocated many of these beliefs in his pieces. Some examples of these are “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain”, “Let America Be America Again”, “One Way Ticket”, and many others.

Countee Cullen

Countee Cullen was perhaps the most representative voice of the Harlem Renaissance. His life story is essentially a tale of youthful exuberance and gift of a star that flashed across the Afro-American firmament and then sank toward the horizon. He was a poet and his poems were not in favor with the white American t for logical reasonsfirst and foremost, though there had been Afro-American poets, there was not yet an Afro-American poetic tradition—in any meaningful sense of the term—to draw upon. Second, the English poetic tradition was the one that was accessible to him—the one that had been taught to him in schools he attended. Third, he felt challenged to establish that a black poet could surpass within that traditional framework. And fourth, he felt absolutely free to choose as exemplars any poets in the world with whom he sensed a temperamental affinity (and he certainly had that affinity with Housman and, especially, Keats). In addition, he shared their romantic self-involvement; he had an ego that was sensitive to the slightest tremors and that needed expression to remain whole, and like Keats he had to believe in human perfectibility (Gates, Higginbotham & American Council of Learned Societies, 2009). In poems such as “Heritage” and “Atlantic City Waiter,” Cullen reflects the urge to reclaim African arts—a phenomenon called “Negritude” that was one of the motifs of the Harlem Renaissance.

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