Langston Hughes

Topics: Blues, Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes Pages: 3 (1132 words) Published: January 29, 2013
Compare and contrast blues and jazz poems of Langston Hughes When you’re reading a poem written by Langston Hughes, you can feel his energy. The way he uses his words to describe what he’s writing about is amazing. Many people feel like Langston Hughes is one of the greatest poets of all-time, and I’m one of those people who believe in this. Most of the poems written by Hughes has that blues like feeling in it. There’s no wonder why his poems are always being compared to blues songs. The way he gets his stanzas to rhyme and the wordplay he uses is mind blowing. After reading three different poems written by Hughes, I compared and contrasted them all to see how he uses music to connect all of his poems. The poem “Jazzonia” by Langston Hughes is so simple, but complex at the same time. Though it only takes less than a minute for most people to read, you can see all the imagery he manages to fit in these few lines. In this poem he describes a scene that takes place in a cabaret featuring jazz music, as jazz is one of the staples of the Harlem Renaissance. “Six long-headed jazzers play,” Hughes states on line 4. The jazzers, who are most likely members of the band that’s performing at the cabaret, seems to be playing tunes that are getting everyone in the mood to dance. In lines 5-6 Hughes describes a young woman in a gold dress who is dancing to the sound of the jazz music being played. Hughes even refers to Eve and Cleopatra in this poem in lines 9-12. Though these images he put in our head while reading these lines seem sexual, he’s actually emphasizing the atmosphere of the room. It can be argued that this poem is structured in a way that an actually jazz song would be in. I say this because of the way he continues to refer back to the repeating the lines of “Oh, singing tree,” and “Oh, shining rivers of the soul.” These two lines can translate as a hook of a song, due to their repetitiveness. Like most of Hughes poems, “Lenox Avenue: Midnight” takes place in...
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