Poety Essay

Submitted By bkachi
Words: 575
Pages: 3

The purpose of a poem is for the author to illustrate a message to the reader. This message can be to entertain, to inform, to persuade/convince, or just to express their feelings in general. In the poems “Harlem”, written by Langston Hughes, and “Introduction to Poetry”, written by Billy Collins, both authors force the reader to examine themselves as the poem is being read. In the poem “Harlem”, the author allowed me to visualize what could happen to a dream that wasn’t utilized. On the other hand, the poem “Introduction to Poetry” symbolizes how the majority of people torture poetry. Langston Hughes does a better job with forcing the reader to examine themselves. His self- reflection has more impact on readers because of his imagination, life to words, and creativity.
Imagination is the ability to think above and beyond the common. Langston Hughes does a better job at this in “Harlem” because he lists several outcomes for a deferred dream. In this poem he states “Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?” (Hughes 1) which illustrates his imagination level to compare such a dream to a raisin that is losing its existence. In the poem “Introduction to Poetry” Collins states, “I ask them to take a poem and hold it up to the light like a color slide” (Collins 1). His imagination level is very basic in this poem compared to Hughes. Hughes imagination level is incredible for the possible dreams whereabouts.
Collins and Hughes use personification to give words life in their poems. In stanza five of "Introduction to Poetry", Collins' poem states, "… tie the poem to a chair with rope and torture a confession out of it" (Collins 13). This quote illustrates that the poem is no longer seen as an expressed feeling on a sheet of paper, but a victim that is accused for a wrong message. The poem is not human, but Collins illustrates how people go about criticizing what they do not know. In "Harlem", Hughes provides life to the word "dream" as he asks the question "...or fester like a sore - and then run?" (Hughes 3). It is apparent that dreams do not have legs and cannot feel pain, but Hughes just gives the dream a human characteristic that grabs the reader's attention. Both of these authors did a