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I, Too, Sing America

I, Too, Sing America

by Langston Hughes

Analysis: Calling Card

Quiet Resolve, Clarity...and a TAKE THAT! to Walt Whitman

Seriously, however, there is a little jab in here at Whitman's famously boisterous ode to American workers ("I Hear America Singing"). It's almost as though the poem is saying, "Hey. I work too. I work harder than you know. You should sing about me, too – and you will."

And really, that kind of sums up Hughes's poem. The whole idea seems to assert the narrator's identity as a human being, an American citizen – and a beautiful one, at that. Now, one could go yelling this from the rooftops, or get really angry about it, or even really depressed. But this poem doesn't do any of that. Instead, it quietly asserts itself and goes about its business becoming stronger, while not leaving you in the dark about a thing.

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