Saturday, November 29, 2008


I, Too, Sing America by Langston Hughes

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.

They send me to eat in the kitchen

When company comes,

But I laugh,

And eat well,

And grow strong.


I'll be at the table

When company comes.

Nobody'll dare

Say to me,

"Eat in the kitchen,"



They'll see how beautiful I am

And be ashamed--

I, too, am America.

The speaker of this poem is integral to the meaning of it. The speaker is a black man, “I am the darker brother,” he is commenting on the racial inequality and segregation in America. The company doesn’t treat him equally because of his race; they make him eat in the kitchen. The poem is also hopeful. He says that in the future this racial inequality will not exist, “Nobody’ll dare/ Say to me,/ “Eat in the kitchen”.” He goes on to say, “They’ll see how beautiful I am.” “I, Too, Sing America” is written in the voice of a black man to express the inequalities of our country. Also it was written in the 20s which was a time when black people’s voices were muted.

The second poem I chose was Sudden Journey by Tess Gallagher. This poem is in the Norton on page 868. The speaker of this poem is a child. This is evident through the uncomplicated diction and the short syntax. The poem reflects a child’s perspective in the way that the poem is almost completely based off of observations of the rain. The poem shows the simplistically beautiful point of view of a child watching the rain. It reminds the reader to not take the simple things for granted and enjoy the world around them as a child would.

1 comment:

Christina D said...

SO, i actually think that the speaker is an adult, or at least at an age considered "more mature" that the child of seven. I think that the speaker is taking their observations to a simpler level. They're not too old to notice and appreciate the things a child does. also there are some hints of feeling more free and open when pretending to be seven "I open my face. Let the teeth show. I pull my shirt down past the collar-bones." This is a portrayal of revealing one's self openly, not having to hide but opening and showing. and "I can drink anywhere" which is perhaps a reference to the rules and limitations presented by adulthood, whereas a child is more free and can drink wherever.