Dream Variations Criticism

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Hughes was a true Renaissance man, a term meaning that he was expert in many different fields, but he received his best critical response for his poetry and fiction. Sometimes, though, critics would not recognize that Hughes was writing for an undereducated audience and would accuse the writer himself of being remedial and marginally talented. Harry Allan Potamkin, for example, recognized what Hughes was trying to do—use the American folk music tradition in poetry—but he did not think it was a feat that took much skill. "Whatever value as poetry the Negro spirituals or blues may have," Potamkin wrote in the Nation, "duplicate spirituals or blues have only duplicate values. In the conformation of the inherent qualities of these indigenous songs to an original personal intelligence or intuition lies the poetic performance. And Mr. Hughes has not made the material so perform." In short, Potamkin believed...

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This section contains 310 words
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Poetry for Students
Dream Variations from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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