Analysis A short, pithy poem that seeks to answer its own question via a series of images and the use of simile and metaphor - figurative language - which puts the emphasis on the imagination. There are eleven lines with an inconsistent rhyme scheme of abcdbefeghh. The form is unusual in that the first stanza is a quatrain, followed by a tercet then an unrhymed couplet. The last line is another question which suggests that there is no definitive answer to the original question.
Definitions[ edit ] Length and meaning[ edit ] Lynn Keller describes the long poem as being a poem that is simply "book length," but perhaps the simplest way to define "long poem" is this: Susan Stanford Friedman describes the long poem as a genre in which all poems that are not considered to be short can be a considered a part.
These overly inclusive definitions, though problematic, serve the breadth of the long poem, and have fueled its adaptation as a voice for cultural identity among marginalized persons in Modern and Contemporary poetry. Only a broad definition can apply to the genre as a whole.
In general, a poem is a "long poem" when its length enhances and expands upon the thematic, creative, and formal weight of the poem.
Though the term "long poem" may be elusive to define, the term is now finally getting the attention it deserves. The genre has gained importance both as a literary formand as a means of collective expression.
Lynn Keller solidifies the genre's importance in her essay, "Pushing the Limits," by stating that the long poem will always be recognized as a notable genre of importance in early twentieth-century American literature.
Ezra Pound coined the phrase, referring to his own long poem The Cantos. The long poem's length and scope can contain concerns of a magnitude that a shorter poem cannot address. The poet may see himself or herself as the "bearer of the light," to use Langston Hughes' term, who leads the journey through a culture's story, or as the one who makes known the light already within the tribe.
The poet may also serve as a poet-prophet with special insight for their own tribe. In Modern and Contemporary long poems the "tale of the tribe" has frequently been retold by culturally, economically, and socially marginalized persons.
Thus, pseudo-epic narratives, such as Derek Walcott's "Omeros," have emerged to occupy voids where post colonial persons, racially oppressed persons, women, and other people who have been ignored by classic epics, and denied a voice in the prestigious genre.
Revisionary mythopoesis[ edit ] Various poets have undertaken a "revisionary mythopoesis" in the long poem genre. Since the genre has roots in forms that traditionally exclude poets who have minimal cultural authority, the long poem can be a "fundamental re-vision," and function as a discourse for those poets Friedman.
These "re-visions" may include neglected characters, deflation of traditionally celebrated characters, and a general reworking of standards set by the literary tradition. This revision is noted especially by feminist critical work that analyzes how women are given a new voice and story through the transformation of a previously "masculine" form.
Cultural commentary[ edit ] Lynn Keller notes that the long poem enabled modernists to include sociological, anthropological, and historical material. Many long poems deal with history not in the revisionary sense but as a simple re-telling in order to prove a point.
Then there are those who go a step further and recite a place's or people's history in order to teach. Like revisionary mythopoesis, they may attempt to make a point or demonstrate a new perspective by exaggerating or editing certain parts of a history.
Fear of failure is also a common concern, that perhaps the poem will not have as great an impact as intended. Since many long poems take the author's lifetime to complete, this concern is especially troubling to anyone who attempts the long poem.
Ezra Pound is an example of this dilemma, with his poem The Cantos. The American long poem is under pressure from its European predecessors, revealing a special variety of this anxiety. Walt Whitman tried to achieve this idea of characterizing the American identity in Song of Myself.
Thus, when the author feels that their work fails to reach such a caliber or catalyze a change within the intended audience, they might consider the poem a failure as a whole.
Poets attempting to write a long poem often struggle to find the right form or combination of forms to use. Since the long poem itself cannot be strictly defined by one certain form, a challenge lies in choosing the most effective form.
Its roots in epic make the genre appear to be non-inclusive of female writers. This is due to the epic's long history of being primarily a realm of writing for men.Search the world's information, including webpages, images, videos and more.
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Furthermore, as each poem develops, so does the feeling behind a"dream deferred," growing more serious and even angry with each new skybox2008.com understand Hughes' idea of the"dream deferred," one must have an understanding of the history of Harlem.
Hughes wrote "Harlem" in , and it addresses one of his most common themes - the limitations of the American Dream for African Americans. The poem has eleven short lines in four stanzas, and all but one line are questions. A poet, novelist, fiction writer, and playwright, Langston Hughes is known for his insightful, colorful portrayals of black life in America from the twenties through the sixties and was important in shaping the artistic contributions of the Harlem Renaissance.
Jul 02, · Dream Deferred (Harlem) By Langston Hughes What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore-- . Harlem (Dream Deferred) by Langston Hughes.
Harlem (Dream Deferred) Learning Guide by PhD students from Stanford, Harvard, Berkeley In "Harlem," Hughes asks a very important question about dreams and about what happens when dreams are ignored or postponed.
which explores the idea of delayed dreams in the world of a black family living.