The characteristics of each poem are:
- “I, Too” by Lansgton Hughes: 1, 6
1- This poem is a reference, and a sort of answer, to Whitman’s poem “I Hear America Singing.” In his poem, Whitman talks about how every American -mechanics, carpenters, boatmans- is singing. However, he makes no mention of black people. This is why the poem is entitled “I, Too,” to express that Hugues, an African American man, is still an American.
6- This poem does not have specific rhyme scheme or meter. Therefore, it is written in what is known as “free verse.”
- “From the Dark Tower” by Countee Cullen: 2, 3, 4, 5
2- The social injustice paradox means that social injustice is rooted in the lack of access to education, money and power, and that the solution lies in institutions which are always supported by those with money and power. This poem refers to this paradox because it refers to white people oppresing African Americans and not allowing them to be rightfully repaid for their work.
3- This poem is written in iambic pentameter and has a traditional (ABAB) rhyme scheme.
4- The poem symbolizes the great efforst black people did while working, only to have their profits taken by their white maters.
5- The whole poem is filled with an angry tone. Lines such as “Not always bend to some more subtle brute;” clearly express the resentment and repudiation she feels for white people.