Metaphor// Chapter 6


Read “Harlem” by Langston Hughes on pg. 355. While you are reading (and remembering to read at least 3 times) notice the metaphors in the poem. Each metaphor is for “a dream deferred” — these are all the different things Huges believes we can compare “a dream deferred” to.
1. What is “a dream deferred”? — In your response, answer that relatively simple question first. I’m looking for a simple answer to that — not a trick question. Just explain what that phrase means.
2. Given that Harlem (the original title of this poem) has traditionally been a predominantly African-American neighborhood of Manhattan and in the 1930s and 1940s was home to “The Harlem Renaissance” during which a large variety of African-American artistic, political, and social expresions flourished and that by 1951 (when this poem was written) the African-American community in our nation as a whole was steeped in a struggle for civil rights, what do you think is the specific “dream deferred” Langston Hughes is referring to in THIS poem? This is not a trick question either but answering it is not quite as simple as the first.
3. I can find at least 6 metaphors for “a dream deferred” in this poem. Identify at least 5 and explain what they mean. Let me get you started with this question: What does Hughes mean when he asks whether “a dream deferred” dries “up/ like a raisin in the sun”? What would that look like in a person’s life, letting a dream “dry up”?
4. Now that you’ve identified Hughes’ specific dream AND all the various things that could happen to it now that it has been “deferred,” discuss how the things that could happen to Hughes’ dream apply to your dreams or my dreams or other people’s dreams. Discuss how this poem works on both a specific to an “issue” level AND on a more universal level.
Poetry and Song// Chapter 7
Slam poetry is the same as “spoken word” poetry and has grown out of several different traditions, at least one of which, is the world of hip-hop. At the end of Chapter 7 when Kennedy & Gioia discuss Rap, they are trying to get you to understand that Rap music actually follows a highly regular and traditional meter and stanza form that has been practiced and used for centuries.
Watch each of the following videos at least twice. One thing you’ll notice right away is that the strength of the poem depends, in part, on the delivery of the poem. That is, you are not meant to experience this poem in writing on the page — you are meant to SEE it and HEAR it performed.
The following videos are recordings of three COMPLETELY different slam poets. But each of these poets uses the sound, the rhyme, and the rhythm of their lines and their words to create a piece of art that hovers somewhere between song and poem.
Saul William’s “Ohm”
Andrea Gibson’s “Blue Blanket
Taylor Mali’s “Like You Know”
if, for some reason, these links won’t work for you, please search these artists and titles in you tube and find them yourself. They should work though — I double-checked them.
For your original discussion board response, please discuss these poems. Here are some questions to get you started: What do these three poems (even though they are so incredibly different) have in common? How do each of these poems use qualities of music, sound, rhythm, rhyme to get their point across? What are the effects of the sounds of the poem on you, the audience? how does spoken word poetry differ from the poetry (for the page) that we’ve mostly been reading in this class, so far? Who is spoken word for? Why do you think so? Characterize spoken word poetry — would you call it exciting? interesting? offensive?
Harold Bloom (a crazy famous Harvard professor who has strangely somehow set the standard for all forms of literature) said that spoken word poetry was “the death of art.” Since I host a Slam in Saginaw (where spoken word poets perform), clearly I disagree heartily with Bloom. But, what do you think? Do you think spoken word poetry is “the death of art” or do you have a slightly more optomistic take on the genre?
Finally, please find another slam poem in you tube that you like a lot and post it at the end of your message to share with all your classmates (see how I’m kind of assuming you’re going to at least like Slam enough to find one poem that you like : ). You can search more work by these three poets or you can search other Slam poets. Some other names you can try are Sarah Kay, Rives, Shane Koyczan, and Patricia Smith. You could also google Slam or look up the Slam Poetry wikipedia page to get some other ideas.
separate chapter 6&7 from each other each of them can
be half page.
the book will be An Introduction to Poetry, Thirteenth Edition by Kennedy & Gioia