By Sterling Professor of the Humanities Harold Bloom
This quantity specializes in the central African-American poets from colonial instances to the Harlem Renaissance and the area struggle II period, paying tribute to a wealthy background that has deeply prompted the nation's literature. Poets coated during this quantity contain Phillis Wheatley, writer of the 1st quantity of verse released through an African American, and the seminal figures Gwendolyn Brooks, Countee Cullen, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, and Jean Toomer. whole with a chronology, bibliography, and notes at the individuals, this new quantity within the "Bloom's smooth severe perspectives" sequence additionally positive factors an essay by way of famous literary critic Harold Bloom, who introduces the quantity along with his techniques in this staff of vivid poets whose paintings has altered the panorama of yankee literature
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Extra info for African-American Poets: 1700s-1940s
Ideologically, aestheticism, the cultural nationalism of “Song of the Son,” and the European spiritism of the later poems hardly make for a single spiritual entity behind the work. As I will try to show by examining one of the poems in Cane, we are on safer and more historic ground if we follow modernist principles of collage and apply the plant/machine analogy. The Field in the Poems I shall take Toomer’s poem “Conversion” as an example and compare it later to “The Little Peoples” by McKay: African Guardian of Souls, Drunk with rum, Feasting on a strange cassava, Yielding to new words and a weak palabra Of a white-faced sardonic god— Grins, cries Amen, Shouts hosanna.
Bigsby (Baltimore: Penguin, 1969) 99–109. . Tolson postured for a white audience, and with an ill-concealed grin and a wicked sense of humour gave it just what it wanted: an entertaining darkey using almost comically big words as the best WASP tradition demands of its educated house-niggers” (101). W olfgang K arrer Black Modernism? The Early Poetry of Jean Toomer and Claude McKay I f we take Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of cultural fields seriously—and I mean to do so in what follows—then modernism occupies a particular position in the literary field of the twenties, and—here Bourdieu’s theory somehow has limitations of its own—this position is taken in different national fields at the same time (29–73).
Only the possible discord between traditional form and revolutionary passions point at the strain of this position. The representation of the revolutionary passion in Harlem Shadows is even more equivocal. Disguise would be the word. After the Palmer raids, euphemistically called the “Red Scare,” of 1919 and the consequent anticommunism and racism of the early twenties and because he accepted help from the NAACP to find a publisher, McKay had to defend himself as a conservative in form, nor as a radical in thought.