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date: 06 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article focuses on the history of African American poetry. It shows that the tensions between traditional and alternative forms do not represent mutually exclusive political and aesthetic commitments but rather the key defining dialectic of black poetry in the United States. The progress of African American poetry is not strictly linear. Its free-styling motion has made a circle of words that continually surpass the boundaries that do violence to poetic form and cultural identity. It also reveals what one learns from “reading the poetry”: that the poems have known this all along.

Keywords: black poetry, dialectic, African American poetry

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