For Greater Understanding

Questions and Essays

1. What was Whitman's role in the Harlem Renaissance?

2. How was Whitman's poetry a "clarion call" for African American writers?

Suggested Reading

Hughes, Langston. Collected Poems of Langston Hughes. David Roessel (ed.). New York: Vintage Books, 1995.

Whitman, Walt. Selected Poems 1855-1892. A New Edition. Gary Schmidgall (ed.). New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999.

Other Books of Interest

Du Bois, W.E.B. The Souls of Black Folk. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Terri Hume Oliver (eds.). New York: W.W. Norton, 1998.

Huggins, Nathan Irvin. Harlem Renaissance. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.

Hughes, Langston. The Big Sea. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1993.

Hutchinson, George. "Langston Hughes and the Other' Whitman." Robert K. Martin (ed.). The Continuing Presence of Walt Whitman. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1992, 16-27.

Lecture 11: From "Barbarie Yawp" to "Howl"

Before beginning this lecture you may want to ...

Read Allen Ginsberg's "Howl."

Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) considered himself to be the 20th century incarnation of Whitman. Ginsberg was the leading poet of the Beat Generation and one of the most radical poets of our time. Since he himself testified to Whitman's influence, we'll take a look at how the Whitmanic tradition streams through Ginsberg and his fellow Beats. His answer JP

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