English / Poetry: A Comparative Analysis

Poetry: A Comparative Analysis

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Autor:  anton  12 March 2011
Tags:  Poetry,  Comparative,  Analysis
Words: 752   |   Pages: 4
Views: 686

Poetry: A Comparative Analysis

As is true with most comparative analysis essays, we must write a paper in which we compare and contrast different things; in this case, compare the relationship between the language and content of three poems. I am faced with creating a list of seemingly unrelated similarities and some differences. At this point I feel a bit confused about how I want to construct this paper.

I want to attempt to analyze the writing styles of three authors, whose works are from the book The Art of Work. I chose to spotlight three poems: Me and My Work, written by Maya Angelou, Factory Jungle, written by Jim Daniels, and Share-Croppers, written by Langston Hughes. I want to show the relationship between the language the poets used in their writing styles and the content of the poems. The first poem I read for this assignment, Share-Croppers, was very interesting to me in that it seemed to have been written from the viewpoint of a slave. I started reading it and although it was short, it said a lot to me and I just had to read the verses again and again. The words are poignant and made me remember some of the stories I heard as a child told to me by my grand father.

To read any of Langston Hughes’ poems one could see that he had a deep concern for depicting American Negro life through the use of the dialect and the terms he used; this was an important part of his writing style. In this poem the language he used made me also think about era in which it was written, a time after emancipation when most southern blacks were forced to become share croppers and were enslaved by debts as tenant farmers. In this poem one starts to get an idea of what it was like to be a black share cropper in the south; the hurt of trying to make a living in a thankless job, only to have what this person worked so hard for taken away. He is left hungry and torn, but not broken, because life goes on.

In the next poem, Factory Jungle, the language this author uses paints a picture of a factory worker feeling free as if in a jungle swinging freely through the trees without a care in the world. The author uses his words as metaphors to bring the reader into his “jungle”. Thin lights of sun through the factory windows, shown down like ropes of light is reminiscent of the vines hanging down from the trees. Keeping in the theme of being in a jungle, the author uses a reference to a mad elephant and what it could do to a hand; this refers to biggest press in the plant, just think, if one of the workers were to have their hand caught in that press and the damage it may cause.

I have watched the old Tarzan movies of the past and when I saw Tarzan swinging on those vines through the trees and I thought, “That must be an exhilarating feeling of freedom”, and when Jim Daniels used the correlation of swinging through the plant, then ripping off his coveralls then pounding his chest and yelling like Tarzan, now that is being free!

Maya Angelou is another great story teller who uses her lyrics to start a movement of feelings to the reader, and I am always moved when I read her stories; with this particular piece she brings her readers into the life of a proud, hard working family man who does not have much, but struggles to get by, and to meet the needs of his family. I believe she makes it possible for a reader to see through her eyes the items of importance in this poem. I did not see any metaphors or symbolisms in this poem, just a good story-line that I can relate to, especially when I think about how my parents struggled to make ends meet, and to make sure my siblings and I had what we needed.


Angelou, M. (1990). Me and My Work, Retrieved from The Art of Work: An Anthology of Workplace Literature, Larocco & Coughlin

Daniels, J. (no date). Factory Jungle, Retrieved from The Art of Work: An Anthology of Workplace Literature, Larocco & Coughlin

Hughes, J. M. L. (1942). Share-Croppers, Retrieved from The Art of Work: An Anthology of Workplace Literature, Larocco & Coughlin

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