By Sterling Professor of the Humanities Harold Bloom
Specializes in the important African-American poets from colonial occasions to the Harlem Renaissance and the realm struggle II period. This identify covers poets that come with Phillis Wheatley, writer of the 1st quantity of verse released by way of an African American, and the seminal figures Gwendolyn Brooks, Countee Cullen, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, and Langston Hughes.
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Additional info for African-American Poets: 1700s-1940s (Bloom's Modern Critical Views)
M. Walker, “New Poets,” Phylon XI (1950): 345–354. Walker discusses how white critics seemed to “beg the question of the Negro’s humanity, perhaps as an answer to the white patron’s attitude that Negroes are only children anyway” (346). Arna Bontemps, “Negro Poets, Then and Now,” Phylon XI (1950): 355–360. Bontemps articulates the feeling of “injustice” some poets felt when critics insistently labeled them “Negro poets”: “As was the case with Countee Cullen, one gets the impression that Hayden is bothered by this Negro thing.
Poems under leaves and Syrup Songs. Vignettes under leaf traceries in Washington. (Rusch, 11) A little later he writes: Having as Sub-heads Cane Stalks and Chorouses [sic] (Karintha, Fern, etc. and two longer pieces), leaves (poems), and Leaf Traciers [sic] in Washington, under which I shall group such Things as For M. W. . (12) And again: I see the importance of form. The tree as a symbol comes to mind. A tree in summer. Trunk, branches, structure. Leaves the fillers-out, one might almost say the padding.
In the area of craftsmanship and design” (374). Yet his crucial point is crystal clear; Black writers, both poets and fiction writers, must excel in the quest for technical proficiency by cloaking the ever-present message of social commentary within the folds of craftsmanship. 6 In a tone of subtlely veiled sarcasm, Ford brusquely dismisses the notion that Black writers should avoid racial themes and material, “and leave to white authors the exploitation of subject matter dealing with Negro life” (375).