A poet or a traitor?

Countee Cullen is no doubt successful in achieving his goal of “to be read as a poet, not a Negro poet.” He utilizes imagery, understatement, and religious references effectively to achieve such goal. But many critics say that he is too successful that he was called a “traitor to his race.” As black writers during the Harlem Renaissance increasingly explored the literary possibilities of black localism, Cullen’s work seemed to be a less vital part of African American tradition. Many poets criticized Cullen for this, including Langston Hughes. Although he avoided directly calling Countee Cullen out, Hughes wrote about a poet who secretly desires to be white in his “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain.” In response to people calling him a traitor, Cullen wrote “To Certain Critics” which he shames the faction-“the clan”- that would limit his artistic freedom on the fields of race.cullenc

Advertisements
This entry was posted in English III Honors, Honors English III and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s