Paper on Comparing Poems
Poems Walt Whitman’s “I hear America Singing” and Langston Hughes’s “Let America be America Again” are both similar and different in many ways. The two poems have similar themes, but different styles. The purposes are not alike in any way, they are both trying to portray different issues and topics. Whitman’s poem is very cheerful. I get this impression by the statement “singing with open mouths their song of melodious songs”.
To me, he is expressing the happiness of each worker and is showing the audience that the workers are in good spirits. I also believe his poem is very playful. He makes it clear that the poem is meant to give off good vibes and is showing the workers being content with themselves as well as with their placement in America. Another impression I get by Whitman’s poem is that it is meant to be joyous. the reason I believe this is because he continue sly points out that each worker is “singing” and usually singing is a way of showing joy.
I also believe Whitman is being intimate with his words and with the way he portrays each worker. The statement “Each singing what belongs to him or her and no one else, the day that belongs to the day- at night the party of young fellows, robust, friendly…” shows the personal connection he is trying to create with each American worker. Hughes’s tone is very different from Whitman’s. Hughes is very earnest in his poem. I feel this way because he is very serious throughout the entire poem and is showing his deep feelings of his opinions on America.
I have also gotten the impression that Hughes is very optimistic in his poem. He says “I am the young man, full of strength and hope…” this is a direct statement saying he believes in positive outcomes and is hopeful. Another feeling I have while reading this poem is he is very serious. He is making it clear that his intention is not to be funny and that he wants his poem to be taken sincerly. I also believe that Hughes is being very nostalgic. He is missing what America once was and is yearning for the past.
I believe this due to the fact that he uses the statement ” Let America be America agin, let it be the dream it use to be”. The differences is see between these two poems are their tones. Whitman’s poem is very cheerful and is in good spirits, but Hughes’s poem is very earnest and shows a lot of deep feelings. I also notice that they have set different purposes to their poems. In Whitman’s poem I see his purpose being to show the essence and diversity of America.
Hughes’s purpose seems to be to get America to take action and bring back the old ways of America. The similarity I see in the two poems is that they have the same intended audience, which is obviously the people of America. All in all, to me, the two poems are more different than they are similar. I see more differences to the poems themselves, than i do similarities. However, the are both well written poems and are very inspiring to me.