Faye on Cullen

To: afilreis@dept.english.upenn.edu (Al Filreis)
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 1999 00:14:25 -0400 (EDT)
Cc: joanboonin@hotmail.com, 88v@dept.english.upenn.edu
Sender: owner-88v@dept.english.upenn.edu
Precedence: bulk

A black poet, I assume, is very confined and restrained by his race, just
like a poem in sonnet-form is very confined and restrained by its form.
I don't know too much specifics from history, but I'm sure that racial
oppression back in those days does not allow a black individual the full
freedom of artistic expression.  I think Cullen used a sonnet here to
show this - the sonnet-form does not allow the poet the full freedom
artistic expression.  Everything about the sonnet is so rigid, so
defined, in the same way as the black race is for the black writer.
Hence we have as result this so-close-but-yet-so-far-away-from-perfection
theme, like Tantalus trying to get his food and drink and Sisyphus
rolling his rock uphill and the blind mole and everything else, like the
black poet and the sonnet poem.


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