For this essay, I’d like you to read the following three poems that all reflect on social problems and times of upheaval and change in our country, alongside the momentum for hope and transformation for a better society.
In your essay, please bring in a discussion of the overall themes and messages, social problems and solutions, and ideas that are evoked in each poem.
There are a total of THREE POEMS for you to write about.
The poems by Langston Hughes and Joy Harjo are only in text form for you to read, while Amanda Gorman’s poem is in both oral (youtube/video) and written forms.
What stands out for you in each poem – certain words and phrases and imagery?
How does each poem make you feel? Think about? Wonder about? Feel inspired to do?
How and where does the language and techniques of poetry combine to make each poem have the impact they create?
Overall, try to also relate themes and messages of that you feel emanate from each poem. Please give 1 or 2 examples from each poem to support your thoughts.
You don’t need a works cited list for this paper.
Langston Hughes (Harlem Renaissance Poet, 1920s-30s)
The poem “Let America Be Great Again”
(Links to an external site.)
Amanda Gorman (Youth Poet Laureate who read at 2020 Presidential Inauguration)
Here is the poem being read by Gorman, and also, a link to the text of the poem so you can read it.
(Links to an external site.)
Gorman’s poem in text/readable:
(Links to an external site.)
Joy Harjo, current U.S. Poet Laureate, poem “Map to the Next World”

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