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The Song of the Smoke Study Guide & Plot Summary

This Study Guide consists of approximately 39 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Song of the Smoke.
This section contains 1,877 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Song of the Smoke Study Guide

Poem Summary

Lines 1-2

As this poem begins, Du Bois identifies the persona of the poem as "the Smoke King." The second line proclaims that, despite this light color, the persona is "black." This was a startling proclamation for the time, as "color" had become as much of an issue in the African-American culture as outside it. Lighter skinned people "passed" as white, of course, but there was also a general acceptance of the notion in the African-American culture that lighter skin was preferable. Du Bois himself was a very light-skinned black man, and he strongly objected to this kind of distinction.

Lines 3-4

There is an immediate identification here with the characteristic of "smoke" to float upward; this will be expounded upon in lines 5-7. The poet is likely also making reference to the popular spiritual "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," which includes the phrase "coming for to carry me...

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This section contains 1,877 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Song of the Smoke Study Guide
Copyrights
The Song of the Smoke from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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