Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Robert Hayden essays

Robert Hayden essays Robert Hayden, the twentieth century poet, wrote poems that many times used history and form that allowed him to craft narratives that had different voices. He used historic themes in many of his poems to show the shared heritage of the African Americans. He also used form to get his message across, invoking a sense of speed, ideas, or to use different voices to focus the poem through. His poems Night, Death, Mississippi, and Runagate, Runagate, both showcase his use of history and the ways he used form in his poetry. In his poem Night, Death, Mississippi Hayden writes about the lynching a black man late at night somewhere in Mississippi. This is a historic poem, written in a grisly but effective manner. It is historically accurate in telling the story of a lynching in the details. The white men coming at night, the white robes, and the details of the lynching are all historic, and true things. The lynching in the poem is unspecific, as it could be any one of hundreds that have occurred in the south since the Civil War. The poems main theme or idea, is to show how completely inhuman blacks were thought to be. In the first part of the poem, an old white man sits on the porch in the darkness, listening to the cry of the lynched black man. He is sick and too weak to go out with the lynching party, but he wishes he were out there. He also remembers fondly the time he had cut of the genitals of a black man and listened to him scream in pain. The second part of the poem focuses on the son, and he tel ls the details of the lynching and why he enjoyed better then hunting animals. All of this serves to show the actual feelings many whites had or still have about blacks mainly in the south, but they exist elsewhere too. The poem Night, Death, Mississippi starts with the lines A quavering cry. Screech owl? Or one of them? Right of the start, the poem brings a sense that something is not right. It is not till the second stanza th...

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