Essay Questions: "A Postcard from the Volcano" & "Song for a Dark Girl"

1) How does Wallace Stevens “A Postcard from the Volcano” relate to the current generation?

Even the of Wallace Stevens’ poem is the message to the current generation what, in my understanding, means that in spite of all the endeavors to share the experience of his generation, it remained just a tiny contribution to the understanding of his time. It may sound as if he regrets that newborns would be unaware of what had happened before. But I believe that it is vice versa, and there is a joy in his words that his progeny will see another world; there is a hope that his life was not in vain and his performance in this world was not out the window. Any rewards are not expected but dandyism is expected by default because promising future is not possible without an appreciation for the past. This is what Wallace Stevens was taught and what he is passing further.

2) Clearly, Langston Hughes’s “Song for a Dark Girl” makes strong use of the song “Dixie”. How does this affect the impact of the poem?

Langston Hughes makes strong use of the same phrase from the song “Dixie” due to a few reasons. First of all, this poem is called a song that is not by chance because it has its rhyme which reminds jazz. Keeping in mind the period of time when it was written, it is clear that it was one of the ways to demonstrate his belonging to that time. The other reason why the same phrase from a song is repeated is to show a parallel between the treatment of Afro-Americans before the Civil War in America and at the moment of his present. In such a way a reader should realize that there was no difference even though it was supposed to consider that the change was sufficient. Such a poetic device discloses the truth.

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