Compare and contrast those two poets
Compare their styles and themes
Discuss the historical context of each and how this had an effect of their style of writting. Discuss if either poet has an impact on the other.
Discuss the poems' connection to you, as a modern readers.
The New World
By Jones Very
THE NIGHT that has no star lit up by God,
The day that round men shines who still are blind,
The earth their grave-turned feet for ages trod,
And sea swept over by His mighty wind,
All these have passed away, the melting dream
That flitted o'er the sleeper's half-shut eye,
When touched by morning's golden-darting beam;
And he beholds around the earth and sky
That ever real stands, the rolling shores
And heaving billows of the boundless main,
That show, though time is past, no trace of years.
And earth restored he sees as his again,
The earth that fades not and the heavens that stand,
Their strong foundations laid by God's right hand.
If We Must Die
By Claude McKay
If we must die--let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Making their mock at our accursed lot.
If we must die--oh, let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!
Oh, Kinsmen! We must meet the common foe;
Though far outnumbered, let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one deathblow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we'll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!
Because of this equal rights stance, I connect more to it as a modern reader since I advocate all civil rights for humans. His stance, "Though far outnumbered, let us show us brave," gives me more hope and courage than Very's preachy poem. I like the spirit and connotations of this poem much more. Do you?
First of all, as you assess "The New World" by Jones Very and compare it to the other piece, it seems like he sees God's hand in all facets of life. His poem, to me, reiterates the poet's firm beliefs in Transcendentalism since he "was an extraordinary Transcendentalist and member of the Transcendental Club. In fall 1838 he experienced a period of radical ecstatic mysticism so intense that many thought he had become insane" (http://www.csustan.edu/english/reuben/pal/chap4/very.html). I feel that the piece is frantic, almost manic in mood and tone. In fact, research proves that it might reflect the historical context since Very actually believed that his pieces were directly by the Holy Spirit.
Thus, you might definitely discuss how the historical context and ideologies of Very's time, mainly in Transcendental beliefs, shaped this poem. It affected the style of writing in the glorification of God that is overwhelming here and the emphasis on the ...
Jones Very and Claude McKay poems are assessed.