Essay by sademack21University, Bachelor'sA+, October 2014

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Sade Knox

English 210: Intro to Literary Studies Randolph 15 September 2014

I Am Black & Comely

Poet, L. Lamar Wilson's, reflects on several different themes throughout his poem, "I Am Black & Comely." From the title, it would seem as if the poem was mainly about beauty and the beauty of being black, but as you read and interpret the poem in its' entirety, you discover a much deeper interpretation of this piece of literature. At the beginning of the poem, a religious aspect is presented. Wilson wrote, "I am black & comely, Solomon said, except in King James' version." Solomon was considered as one of the major prophets in the Islam religion. The King James version mentioned refers to the translation of the Christian Bible for the English church. The next line of the poem explains how in the King James' version, Solomon states that he is not black and comely, but instead he rewords his statement as, black but comely.

Wilson then writes, " … making black less so, palatable," recognizing the fact that the change of the wording, replacing the "and" with a "but", takes away from the positivity within the phrase. It somewhat diminishes the fact of being black, making it that black cannot always be comely but yet, he was an exception.

The poet then furthers on explaining how Solomon was attracting and occupying multiple females, Wilson proclaimed, " That beaut's mind lured more women into his court than I suspect that fair (y) James ever cared to see." From a religious standpoint it would be evident that King James' feelings towards Solomon's actions were based of the act of Solomon sinning. The next four lines of the poem use of a hyperbole, as well as metaphoric language to draw conclusions on how...