Saturday, June 11, 2016

Responses to Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Hayden, Amiri Baraka

Gwendolyn Brooks

Re: "Song in the Front Yard" by Gwendolyn Brooks

Gwendolyn Brooks' "A Song in the Front Yard" is a wishful poem that seems, to me, to move past the prescribed safety and modesty of womanness. Brooks' speaker is aware that the contrasting expression of femininity is thought to be "bad," but her desire to be this type of woman anyway is a Sula-esque display of freedom and autonomy. Could it be that those "untended and hungry weeds" in the back of the yard are the manifestation of patriarchy?

Angel Dye

Re: "Frederick Douglass" by Robert Hayden

Robert Hayden dedicates his poem to Frederick Douglass and enforces the idea that he will be remembered. Hayden discredits “statues’ rhetoric” as an effective way for memorialization of the former slave. This reader wonders who should really be responsible for the way we remember/memorialize history?

Zari Taylor

Re: "Jungle Jim Flunks His Screen Test" by Amiri Baraka

“You uglier than anybody except who made you ugly” America, America….why have thou forsaken thee? My ugliness is a reflection of the nature of your ugliness. Your beauty is a mirage, a fa├žade…an uuuugly truth decorated with beautiful lies.

Christian Taylor


AALCI 2016

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