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4 pages/≈1100 words
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MLA
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Literature & Language
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English (U.S.)
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Contemporary African American Poetry Styles (Essay Sample)

Instructions:

Your essay will be graded on clarity and importance of thesis, correct grammar, and logical organization. Use direct quotes with page numbers from the reading to illustrate your ideas.
Please answer this question
What distinguishes the contemporary African American poetry of Natasha Trethewey, Kevin Young, and Tracy K. Smith?
The poems you are to use are “Watcher” by Natasha Trethewey, “Exodus” by Kevin Young, and “My God, It's Full of Stars” by Tracy K. Smith i will provide the readings via attachment.
Do not use any other material. The ONE source you will use is “The Norton Anthology of African American Literature third edition volume 2” by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Valerie A. Smith. The poems that i will provide will come from this book.

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Contemporary African American Poetry Styles
Different African American poets have used different styles to put across their messages in their poems. Such poets include Natasha Trethewey, Kevin Young, and Tracy Smith. In their poems, Watcher, Exodus and My God, it's Full of Stars respectively, the poets illustrate the life of human beings in different ways. Natasha and Kevin illustrate the suffering that human beings go through in their lives and the various ways through which other human beings can make others suffer. On her side, Tracy Smith in her poem illustrates the various struggles that human beings go through in their lives that make them turn away from God. Natasha and Kevin have used what appears to be a similar style while Tracy has used a different way to express her ideas. Nevertheless, the poems contain the visualization effect where the reader can get the image of the surrounding environment under which the circumstances mentioned are taking place.
In the poem, Watcher by Natasha Trethewey, the poet focuses on the desperateness of the people after Hurricane Katrina had taken place in 2005. There were so many lives and property that was lost. She has also emphasized how they remained to just watch without doing anything since they were helpless. The title of the poem, Watcher has been well chosen since it implies the message that has been presented in the poem. The poet also reminds us the other side of human beings. Even though the calamity that was happening was affecting so many people and people were suffering, there were still people who had arrived at the place so that they can loot. In stanza 2, line 2, the poet writes, “Watched the looters who had come each day”. Natasha uses such incidences to show how human beings are so inhuman and selfish. That despite the people who were suffering after the Hurricane, there were still others who were stealing from them. She also says that there was nothing that they would do and they just watched as the looters took away everything. The poet has used the word “siphon” line 3 stanza 2 to refer to the inhuman actions of the looters. Siphoning is the action of moving a liquid from one container to another by the use of a tube. The looters stole everything from the people who were affected by the hurricane. The poet also gives us the visualization of the situation at hand after the incident. In line 17, stanza 6, she writes, “he watched carcasses chickens mostly- maybe some cats or dogs”. People lost most of their belonging after the incident.
In the poem, Exodus by Kevin Young, the poet begins the first line with the new names that the slaves have been given. The poet writes about the ways in which Africans were sold as slaves and the inhuman aspect of their masters. Bes

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