I’d like you to closely read “Let America be America Again” (Links to an external site.) by Langston Hughes and provide an original response to the poem. In your response, I’d like you to consider denotation (the dictionary definition of a word), connotation (the associations one brings to a word), and tone (the speaker’s attitude toward the subject matter). What words in particular help convey a sense of determination in the struggle for freedom and equality? What role does repetition play in the poem? How about the use of parentheses?
*2. Given the recent riot at the Capitol and the steady stream of disturbing news, I want to offer you an alternative to discussing “Let America be America Again” by Langston Hughes. I invite you to discuss “Yes” by William Stafford. It’s a short and meaningful poem that offers a hopeful message for these dark times. Below are reading questions to help guide you. You do not need to include answers to these questions in your discussion board post. They are intended to help you think critically about the poem.
a. Please list the denotation of the words “Armageddon” and “salvation.”
b. According to the poem, what are the things that could happen at any time? How would you describe the items that the poet lists?
c. What does the poet mean by the lines “no guarantees/ in this life.”?
d. What is the “it” in the poem?
e. The poem contains an important signal word that indicates a contrast or reversal of thought. What is the signal word and what is its relationship to the poem’s title? Why is the signal word so significant to the poem’s meaning?
f. How would you describe the poem’s tone?
g. Do you like the poem? Why or why not? How, if at all, do you feel that it relates to this challenging time in our nation’s history?
The questions above are intended to serve as a jumping off point. Please feel free to discuss other topics that may be of interest to you. I look forward to reading your posts.