Recovering What Has Been Lost Of The African-American Experience Literature Review Sample
The history of African-Americans presents Hayden with the thematic sources of some of his most intensely appreciated and finest poems. For instance, the slaves uprising, led by Cinquez Joseph inspires his poem “Middle Passage” (Alhazov, 2006). The slave ship Armistead as well as the events that occurred after slavery provides crucial fodder for Hayden’s poetry. Further, Hayden’s poetry tries to recover elements that have been lost of the African-American experience by writing about some of the significant African American figures such as Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and Nat Turner (Alhazov, 2006).
Moreover, Hayden employs modernist mediation on humanity and heroism that is always the hard to kill human desire for freedom and human possibility; therefore, he recovers what had been lost of the African-American experience. Further, through his poetry, Hayden appreciates the modern aesthetic like impersonality illustrated through individuals like Eliot, but also breaks dramatically with the aesthetics and the articulation of despair found in history. This story in Middle passage narrates, in several perspectives, the story of the struggle for freedom. The narrator refers to the slave ships as “Shuttles in the rocking loom of history” (L 8), and says further they wave away history with their every movement (Alhazov, 2006).
In addition, the poem "Homage to the Empress of the Blues" illustrates the way Hayden’s work is committed to the modernist perspectives. He uses fragments of memory, song, history, and present literatures to produce a work filled with epic ambition, thereby outlining some elements that had been lost in the African-America experience. For instance, “She came out on the stage in ostrich feathers, beaded satin” (L15, 16) before she started singing (Alhazov, 2006).
Lastly, “Those Winter Sundays” is another of his poems that realize synchronicity of sound that represents the poem’s spirit of reconciliation, which is a thing that has been missing in the African-American experience. The poem also defines unspoken love. It first shows between father and son when making the fire; then the love is returned as the child asks, “What did I know?” Ideally, Hayden uses his poems to recover what had been lost in the African-American experience (Alhazov, 2006).
Alhazov Natalia. (2006). First African-American Experience: Slave Ship Voyages Reflected in
Narratives, Poetry, Movies and Art. Romanian Journal of English Studies.