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Poems “I Too”, “Song for A Dark Girl” and “Harlem” is written in a rather precise and simple manner in that it makes the reader get along with the different scenarios the persona is undergoing. The poem “I Too” revolves around a black brother who is trying so hard to get himself recognized. The persona remains optimistic in the sense that although he is being mistreated and looked down upon he decides to soldier on and eat(even if its in the kitchen) knowing very well that in the long run he would grow strong and then he will be able to defend himself against the oppressor.” I’ll be at the table when company comes. Nobody’ll dare say to me “Eat in the Kitchen” then”. (Langston. H, Stanza 2).
The speaker of this poem remains optimistic that in future he will be able to be recognized as an American and be perceived as “beautiful”. This is a revelation in some way since the black race has been seen climbing up the ladder just like any other race in America. There is now a “black brother” who is president and others being perceived as symbols of beauty allover America. Reading through the poem, a reader is able to figure out the human condition the persona is undergoing, he is perhaps a slave who is working in a white family and he is enduring mistreat just because he is not recognized as an American yet. The tone that is depicted here is that of optimism and hope. The persona is very hopeful.
The poem” Song for a Dark Girl” on the other hand talks about a young black American girl whose lover has been killed. She is bitter and angry to have been deprived of love that she even despairs on matters concerning love. The persona of this poem says that” I asked the white Lord Jesus What was the use of prayer”. (Langston. H, Stanza 2). In some way it’s a revelation in that nowadays unlike before, black race have embraced Christianity and cease to call Jesus as “white Jesus”. The message of this poem is driven home by use of metaphors to describe the lost love” Love is a naked shadow on a gnarled and naked tree” (Langston. H, Stanza 3). The point of view for this poem is somehow appropriate in that it brings out the tone of the persona and we as the readers are able to indentify with the situation and feel sorry for the lost love.
In the poem “Harlem”, the persona is a rather encouraging speaker who is probably encouraging his fellow men to hold on to dream though they are differed. He goes on using rhetoric questions that are left unanswered so as to identify with the reader and this clearly disseminate the message very well. The poem also uses the stylistic device such as similes “Maybe it just sags like a heavy load”. (Langston. H, Stanza 2). The tone of the poem is that of optimism and hope in that the persona tells the reader that a deferred dream is as good a fulfilled one and that, all it takes to fulfill dreams is never to give up. The speaker in some way also is aware of the revolution that will hit America. This is evident since nowadays all races have equal rights and opportunities.
Going through David Mitchell critical essay about the poems, he outlines the loss of consideration by the author (David.M, 34-46).He goes on further to describe the poems as “irrational” and “inconsiderate” in the sense that the speaker did not take into consideration other factors while writing the poem. He for instance mentions the portrayal of the white family as racist yet they had employed the speaker to do kitchen work for them (David. M, 34-46). He however stipulates that the author was good in passing the message across and that there is smart and intellectual use of the various stylistic devices like Metaphors, similes and use of rhetoric questions. He outlines that though the author has been biased and one-sided he stills manages to “say what he wanted to say” (David. M, 34-46).
In concluding, what I like about the poems is that they try as hard as possible to not only provide for hope to the then black race but also to all those who are downtrodden and humiliated. The speaker tries to encourage the minority to soldier on, no matter the circumstances. The issue I have with the poems is the fact that they have solely used a tone that is not friendly to other races especially “the white” race.