Langston Hughes And His Jazzy Poetry English Literature Essay

Jazz is a genre of music characterized by a beat that has a feel of improvisation. It is music that was born around 1895 in New Orleans and is a mixture of blues, ragtime and processing set music. The vocal is what forms the footing for the frame of mention for the composers or instrumentalists to improvize beat about. This sense of improvisation is what led many poets in the twentieth century to come up with a coincident composing of poesy based on the wind beat. This is what gave rise to wind poesy in 1920 by poets such as those of the Beat Generation and accordingly became adapted into the hip-hop music. Today, unrecorded poesy events are chiefly in the genre of wind poesy and are normally known as poesy sweeps. Jazz music, to state the least, has its ain civilization of go throughing a message- in a subtle, yet converting mode and with conclusiveness. Fats Waller, a critic of poesy, conquers that each piece of wind poesy tells a narrative. Jazz verse forms may non offer wordss or even a interlingual rendition to their sound, but they with no uncertainty respond to the music linguistic communication. This genre of poesy besides has a manner of showing deep feelings that would otherwise be difficult to show in other genre of poesy. Yet, it does convey out all this in a mode that requires a reader to read more keenly between the lines ( Sascha and Yusef p.23 ) .

Langston Hughes is a poet whose plants are marked by a figure of wind poesy, among them being ‘The weary blues, ‘ ‘Ask Your Mama ‘ and ‘Jazzonia. ‘ The verse forms are marked with the insistent phrases of wind music, which is characteristic of the African -American civilization. Jazz music was besides seen as a really powerful tool against the position quo that promoted racial pride and individualism. However, when some poets adapted the wind manner in their poesy, they sought to convey some sense of pride and coherence in footings of nationality, race and civilization. Langston Hughes in his poesy adopts a ‘blue tradition ‘ significance that he employs a musical and stanzaic construction in his work of poesy. Most of his verse forms are categorized into the eight and twelve saloon musical stanzas, which are characteristic of wind music. This manner of poesy extended to Hughes ‘s spiritual and folk poesy every bit good. His statement is that wind is everyplace and here to state for that affair. He continues to state that whether instrumentalists use wind in their music to pass on for money or for a echt love for the beat, ‘jazz is like a large sea that washes up all sorts of sea stuffs, old round or of-beat ‘ ( Langston, p16 ) .

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In Langston ‘s verse form titled ‘The Weary Blues, ‘ the usage of wind as a tool of insistent accent is apparent. For illustration, ‘…he did a lazy sway…he did a lazy sway… ‘ this is a phrase that has been repeated and in relation to the remainder of the verse form, this was done with an purpose of conveying out the relationship between the sad vocal and the vocalist of the vocal. In the verse form, it is apparent that the character in the verse form is seated in a picket, dull lividness of an old gas light… ‘ on a rickety stool. The lazy sway, in relation to a line in the character ‘s line in the vocal ‘…and put my problems on the shelf… ‘ is good plenty to convey out a image of person relay burdened with life and is left with no energy to make anything about them but to wish them off ( Langston, p4 ) .

It has been mentioned earlier in the paper that wind is besides an avenue through which poets seek to advance cultural, racial or national coherence. Hughes ‘ verse forms use a linguistic communication that is characteristic of the black American indigens. Just to cite a stanza, ‘…ai n’t cipher but ma self… ‘ Note the usage of ai n’t alternatively of is n’t, and ma alternatively of my. He besides refers to a Negro, a term that is common among the black Americans and is used as a mention name to individuals of black lineage. In yearss gone, the word Negro was seen to be a consolidative factor among the black people, but today, it is considered disused and is non normally used as it is seen to advance racism. In the context that the word was used though, it is apparent that it was used in good religion, as it as used to convey out the trials that this peculiar black adult male was traveling through at the minute. The accent is brought out, one once more, by a repeat of the word Negro in stanza three and eighteen, where the poet says, ‘I heard the Negro play…that old piano moan… ‘ ( Langston, p.4 ) .

Wind, as we have earlier outlined brings out deeper intending than can be seen on the surface. Looking keenly through the words and seeking to acquire a deeper significance through them, it goes without stating the character in the verse form is traveling through some emotional hurting brought about by life fortunes. How is this brought out? The repeat of ‘…make that old piano moan… ‘ can about paint a clear image of the character ‘s torment, an torment that is projected in the mode in which he pinches the piano, doing it ‘moan. ‘ A moaning of the piano is likely a moaning that is in the character ‘s bosom, but merely which can be expresses through such personification ( Langston, p4 ) .

In Jazzonia, the character includes a squad of six long-headed jazzers, who bring out the subject of the verse form, which is profoundly ingrained in the verse form, in a manner that is non easy to pick non though. The repeat of the stanza ‘In a whirling…long-headed jazzers play… ‘ helps convey out the happy feeling in the verse form, concerned with the reflecting tree, bold eyes and gorgeous Cleopatra. The drama of the jazzers can about be felt in the dance miss whose eyes are bold. She lifts the silken, aureate frock high, conveying out the gaiety of the character. ‘The reflecting rivers of the psyche ‘ in the 2nd, 8th and 15th stanza, have besides been used in wind manner to stress on the subject of the verse form. The rivers have been personified to posses a psyche, in which there are reflecting rivers that denote felicity and kind of care-free life style. However, in this verse form, there is no much usage of the Afro-american native linguistic communication characterized by a shortening of words and a linguistic communication full of slang ( Harold and Cindy p.77 ) .

Langston Hughes has in a great manner managed to integrate wind beat into his poesy and this he has done giving idea to other genres of music like blues. His success to make so can be attributed to the fact that his verse form day of the month back to the clip when the Black Arts Movement was doing a important grade in the universe, and wind poesy as a genre of poesy was deriving land in this field, and in a fast mode.

Work cited

Harold Bloom and Cindy Dyson. , Langston Hughes, Bloom ‘s biocritiques, Atlanta, InfoBase Publishing, 2002

Langston Hughes. and Susan Duffy. , The political dramas of Langston Hughes, New York, SIU Press, 2000

Sascha Feinsein and Yusef Komunyakaa, The 2nd set: the wind poesy anthology, Indiana, Indiana University Press, 1996

Langston Hughes, The Weary Blues, published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Copyright © 1994, Retrieved on 5th November 2010 from: hypertext transfer protocol: //


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