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comparing Langston Hughes' two poems, "Trumpet Player" and "The Weary Blues."

* Write a well-developed paragraph (the length may be specified by your instructor) comparing Langston Hughes' two poems, "Trumpet Player" and "The Weary Blues." What is the connection between racial issues and music in the poems? What is the value of music to the speakers in each poem?

* Your paragraph should be organized: a thesis statement of some kind as your first sentence (a main idea about the poems that will govern your entire paragraph), commentary for the main body of your paragraph in which you use at least two examples from the poems (or more), and a concluding comment of just one sentence that nicely completes your discussion.

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Trumpet Player

The Negro
With the trumpet at his lips
Has dark moons of weariness
Beneath his eyes
where the smoldering memory
of slave ships
Blazed to the crack of whips
about thighs

The negro
with the trumpet at his lips
has a head of vibrant hair
tamed down,
patent-leathered now
until it gleams
like jet?
were jet a crown

the music
from the trumpet at his lips
is honey
mixed with liquid fire
the rhythm
from the trumpet at his lips
is ecstasy
distilled from old desire?

Desire
that is longing for the moon
where the moonlight's but a spotlight
in his eyes,
desire
that is longing for the sea
where the sea's a bar-glass
sucker size

The Negro
with the trumpet at his lips
whose jacket
Has a fine one-button roll,
does not know
upon what riff the music slips

It's hypodermic needle
to his soul
but softly
as the tune comes from his throat
trouble
mellows to a golden note

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The Weary Blues

Droning a drowsy syncopated tune,
Rocking back and forth to a mellow croon,
I heard a Negro play.
Down on Lenox Avenue the other night
By the pale dull pallor of an old gas light
He did a lazy sway . . .
He did a lazy sway . . .
To the tune o' those Weary Blues.
With his ebony hands on each ivory key
He made that poor piano moan with melody.
O Blues!
Swaying to and fro on his rickety stool
He played that sad raggy tune like a musical fool.
Sweet ...

Solution Summary

The solution compares Langston Hughes' two poems, "Trumpet Player" and "The Weary Blues.". The connection between racial issues and music in the two poems are analyzed. A discussion of the value of music to the speaker in each poem is analyzed.

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