The Song of the Smoke Essay

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Kelly is a fiction writer and playwright who teaches at two colleges in Illinois. In the following essay, he argues that W. E. B. Du Bois's poem "The Song of the Smoke" is under-appreciated by readers who ignore its artistic use of unclear language and focus on its message but not its form.

Like the works of many pioneering African- American authors, W. E. B. Du Bois's 1907 poem "The Song of the Smoke" is often recognized for its social message, but far too seldom is it given credit for its achievement as a work of art. The fact that art is often subject to individual impressions does not mean that it can be anything that any person wants to say it is: in its most basic sense, artistry can be defined by the way that the form of a piece is used to highlight its message. In the...

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This section contains 1,679 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Song of the Smoke Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
The Song of the Smoke from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.