2 Countee Cullen He was born 1903 in NYC and died in 1946 1922 Cullen attended NYU where his poems were published in The Crisis under the leadership of W.E.B Dubois.He was also published in Poetry, Harpers, Century Magazine and Opportunity.He graduated from NYU in 1923 in that same year, Color, his first line of verse was published.He then attended Harvard University where he completed his master’s degree in English.
3 IncidentOnce riding in old Baltimore, Heart-filled, head-filled with glee, I saw a Baltimorean Keep looking straight at me. Now I was eight and very small, And he was no whit bigger, And so I smiled, but he poked out His tongue, and called me, “Nigger.” I saw the whole of Baltimore From May until December; Of all the things that happened there That’s all that I remember.
4 Page 243Theme: This poem an event that happened when the author was in Baltimore. Cullen is bring across the racism he experience when he was in Baltimore.Tone: The mood of the poem is a contradiction. The poem is a rhyming ballad about a mind scaring incident with racism.Technique: Foreshadowing is used because the name of the poem is Incident. Imagery is used when he’s describing going into Baltimore.Literary Devices- Alliteration, Imagery, Allusion, Rhyming, Foreshadowing, Rhythm and Stanza.
5 Yet Do I MarvelI doubt not God is good, well-meaning, kind, And did He stoop to quibble could tell why The little buried mole continues blind, Why flesh that mirrors Him must some day die, Make plain the reason tortured Tantalus Is baited by the fickle fruit, declare If merely brute caprice dooms Sisyphus To struggle up a never-ending stair. Inscrutable His ways are, and immune To catechism by a mind too strewn With petty cares to slightly understand What awful brain compels His awful hand. Yet do I marvel at this curious thing: To make a poet black, and bid him sing!
6 Page 244Theme: The theme of this poem is questioning. The poet question’s God and his relationship to humans.Tone: The mood of this poem is very insightful. It’s all about someone's questions to the thing humans believe in.Technique: Cullen uses allusion when he refers to God and a verse in the Holy Bible, then Greek mythology. Anaphora is also used because he uses “Why” a lot, he is questioning a lot of things.Literary Devices- Rhyme, Alliteration, Allusion, Juxtaposition, Anaphora
7 HeritageOn page 244Theme: The theme of this poem is heritage, where you come or originate from. Cullen writes about his love and somewhat hate relationship with Africa.Tone: The mood of this poem is story like and a contradiction. It’s like a child story because of the use of imagery and rhymingTechnique: Cullen uses multiple metaphors to enhance the imagery in this poem.Literary Devices- Imagery, Alliteration, Metaphor, Stanza, Allusion, Enjambment , consonance and hyperbole.
8 Compare and contrast Similar Connect to African or African-American culture.ImageryIdea of someone’sThoughts.English Literary Devices,Well structured.Rhyming schemeDifferentIncident is attached to the author recapping an experience.YDIM is a brooding poem questioning beliefs.Heritage has a lot more information and isn’t abstract in any way.
9 Cullen’s ImportanceCountee Cullen believed that African American’s should study English literature and add it to their poetry.Cullen left a legacy on the Harlem Renaissance with the belief that it wasn’t defined by race.He did write about racial themes but also universal themes using a formal, conventional style.