James Weldon Johnson | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 13 pages of analysis & critique of James Weldon Johnson.
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SOURCE: "A Weapon of My Song: The Poetry of James Weldon Johnson," in Phylon, Vol. 32, No. 4, Winter, 1971, pp. 374-82.

In the following essay, Long surveys Johnson 's poetic works, assessing his evolving notion of "the function of the poet."

The verse output of James Weldon Johnson falls into four groups: lyrics in standard English, poems in the dialect tradition, folk-inspired free verse, and a long satirical poem. The first two groups are contemporary and were published in the volume Fifty Years and Other Poems (Boston, 1917). The prayer and seven Negro sermons of the third group constitute God's Trombones (New York, 1927). The last group is represented by the poem "St. Peter Relates An Incident of the Resurrection Day," privately printed in 1930, and republished with a selection of earlier poems in 1935.

The early poetry of Johnson belongs to the late nineteenth century tradition of sentimental poetry in so far as...

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This section contains 3,628 words
(approx. 13 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Richard A. Long
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