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

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    * 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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    Solution Preview

    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

    ------------------------------------------------------

    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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