dimanche 21 mai 2017

Famous Poets Of Resistance Of All Time

By Steven Wood

There are instances in the history of the world where the wishes of the people seem ignored and can only be expressed through art. The leaders of resistance movements choose poetry because of its appeal and its ability to conceal the message to avoid attracting the wrath of oppressors. Certain poets of resistance have risen to the occasion and provided the perfect verses to pass the message.

Langston Hughes is a famous social activist and columnist who hailed from Joplin in Missouri. He is famous for leading the Harlem Renaissance from New York City. He has a list of over 15 poetry collections to his name. Among the most famous poems is I Look at the World where he regards the world of the blacks as fenced and thus rallies them to rise up and build the world they envision.

Among the most famous female resistance poets is Maya Angelou. This lady from St. Louis in Missouri is also credited with authoring numerous books and being a memoirist. Because of her contribution and participation in social justice transformation, she has more than 50 honorary degrees. Caged Bird is on of her iconic verses that point at a cry for freedom among the oppressed. She uses the analogy of two birds, one that flies and another that is caged.

The war in Vietnam troubles Denise Levertov that she raises her sole voice against the British government and its engagement there. In her opinion, this is an atrocious act against masses who do not deserve the suffering. She is credited for building powerful images through news casts, conversations and diary entries. The format she adopts in her artistic works is dialogue or engagement between individuals and oppressors, who in this case is the government. She calls upon the world to stop and ponder on what peace means, clearing stating that it is not the absence of war. This message is in the poem Making Peace.

Claude McKay was born in Jamaica in 1889 and lived during the Harlem Renaissance. His ideology was largely communist though he claimed not to have been an official member of any such group. He was an accomplished author of poetry, fiction and non-fiction works. One of his most celebrated poems is IF We Must Die where he advocates for death but a noble death where one fights. He terms it as shameful to allow the enemy to celebrate your anguish.

In 1915, Margret Walker was born in Birmingham, Alabama. She became a prominent member of the African American literary movement operating from Chicago. She is famous for the verse, For My People which addresses a complacent people who are comfortable in oppression. She pushes them to fight by rising from their slumber and instigating for change.

Jane Hirshfield is recognized for her clarity. She is an American essayist and poet born in 1953 and graduated in the pioneer class that included first women from Princeton University. She is recognized for many verses, among them Let Them Not Say. In the poem, she warns evil doers against claiming innocence because their actions are already known.

The beautiful pieces were not meant to drastically change humanity but to awaken the consciousness of masses. It jolted people to action and warned disports that the oppressed subjects were watching. There are more poets who resisted different scenarios and sort to awaken social consciousness through their verses.

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