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    Characteristics of Harlem Renaissance Poetry

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    • Subject:
    the African-American experience, both historical and contemporary
    • Themes:
    o Universal themes like love, death, time, etc.
    o Racial themes like identity, pride, oppression, and resistance
    • Style: two dominant styles:
    o emulation of traditional poetic style (elevated and formal diction)
    o experimentation with new style, especially the African-American vernacular
    • Form: two dominant forms:
    o use of traditional forms of Romantic poetry, especially the sonnet and the ballad.
    o experimentation with new forms and rhythms, like jazz, bebop, and free verse.
    • Influences:
    o Oral Tradition: Slave Songs, Hymns, Storytelling
    o Music: blues, be-bop, and jazz
    o Traditional poetry: sonnets, other forms

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    Characteristics of Harlem Renaissance Poetry. (2017, Aug 28). Retrieved from

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