Poems suitable for Black History Month celebrate changes that have occurred, as in "Booker T. and W.E.B." by Dudley Randall and Lucille Clifton's "Won't you celebrate with me?" Other fitting poems discuss past events. These include "Ma Rainey" by Sterling A. Brown, "For My People" by Margaret Walker, "Letter to Brooks: Spring Garden" by Major Jackson and "Lonely Eagles" by Marilyn Nelson.Know More
Poems that observe the world and call for action are appropriate for Black History Month. Examples of these are "My Country ’Tis of Thee" by W.E.B. Du Bois, "Elliptical" by Harryette Mullen and "Caged Bird" by Maya Angelou.
Some poems explore individual characters, such as Terrance Hayes' "Ode to Big Trend," Melvin B. Tolson's "The Birth of John Henry" and Cornelius Eady's "Nina's Blues." Others explore relationships between men and women, as in "Unholy Women" by Chris Abani, "A Negro Love Song" by Paul Laurence Dunbar and "Lothar’s Wife" by Colleen J. McElroy.
Poems like "Skinny-Dippin’ in the Gene Pool" by Thulani Davis," "Black Boys Play the Classics" by Toi Derricotte and "I, Too" by Langston Hughes consider contemporary situations. "Praise Song for the Day," written by Elizabeth Alexander for Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration, also fits into this category. By contrast, traditions are explored in Honorée Fanonne Jeffers' "The Gospel of Barbecue."Learn more about Poetry
The poem "homage to my hips" by Lucille Clifton is meant to convey the author's embrace of her femininity and her body. She uses metaphors throughout the poem to convey her acceptance of her own body and to urge other women to do the same. The poem also challenges social norms that apply to women and the beauty ideal. Additionally, Clifton alludes to the need for empowering women.Full Answer >
In his poem "Ballad of Birmingham," Dudley Randall uses irony to show how the racist regime of the Jim-Crow-era South made even the safest places dangerous. The poem also uses dramatic irony to heighten the tragedy of the Birmingham bombing of 1963.Full Answer >
Children's metaphor poems are less complex than their adult counterparts, as children generally do not have the same level of reading comprehension as adults and hence may not be able to so easily grasp the symbolic nature of this style of poetry. Typically, the entire poem is shaped around one large, over-arching metaphor.Full Answer >
Not all 14-line poems have specific names, but the name of the most famous type of 14-line poem is the sonnet. Sonnets come in two major forms, Petrarchan, or Italian, and Shakespearean, or English.Full Answer >