A Comparison of Two Poems by Black Poets

Essay by jennaayy22University, Bachelor's May 2004

download word file, 4 pages 4.0 1 reviews

Downloaded 96 times

Countee Cullen and Langston Hughes are two of the most recognized African American poets of the Harlem Renaissance. Countee Cullen's "Yet Do I Marvel" and Langston Hughes' "I, Too" are comparable poems in that their similar themes are representational of the authors' personal tribulations of racial inequality. By comparing these two poems, we get a glimpse of the reality of the injustices of racism during the 1920's by two prominent Black poets.

Cullen and Hughes were born within a year of each other, and consequently wrote these poems in the same year (1925). This is significant because it reflects the time in which racial inequality was prominent. Both poets were struggling with their emotions of being African American minorities in a society of White superiority. Their poems reflect the injustice of racism, which is especially revealed in Langston Hughes' poem "I, Too".

Most poems are filled with symbolism and abstract ideas, and "I, Too" is an example of such.

This poem does not rhyme, nor meter patter truly be measured. In order to understand and grasp the meaning behind this poem, it needs to be read a few times. Sometimes certain aspects of a poem can be overlooked. For example, in the first line of the poem, "I, too, sing America" (line 1), Hughes cleverly uses an allusion as he is referring to Walt Whitman's, "Song of Myself", which entails similar themes. In Hughes' poem, the speaker is addressing the country as a whole. Hughes' use of excellent language and vivid imagery effectively expresses the speaker's feelings towards racism.

This poem explores the injustices of racism through the eyes of a black servant working for a white family. He tells us that he is sent to the kitchen when company comes. Every time he is sent away,