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Night Funeral In Harlem
Transcript of Night Funeral In Harlem
Harlem: Where did they get
Them two fine cars? Insurance man, he did not
His insurance lapsed the
Yet they got a satin box
for his head to lay. Night Funeral
In Harlem Who preached that
Black boy to his grave? Old preacher man
Preached that boy away--
Charged Five Dollars
His girl friend had to pay. When it was all over
And the lid shut on his head
and the organ had done
and the last prayers been
and six pallbearers
Carried him out for dead
And off down Lenox Avenue
That long black hearse
done speed, The street light
At his corner
Shined just like a tear--
That boy was mournin'
Was so dear, so dear To them folks that brought
To that girl who paid the
It was all their tears that
That poor boy's
Funeral grand. Background Info;
Born February 1st 1902 in Joplin Missouri
Began witting poetry when he was in 8th grade
Dropped out of college with a B+ average
Traveled a lot!
Stressed about racial hatred and importance along with cultural nationalism
Had prostate cancer (died from related surgery)
Hughes was very passionate about the racial conflict between blacks and whites. He spent a good majority of his life trying to resolve any and all conflicts. Even though he was unsuccessful he still made an attempt with his poetry. Hughes had a heart unlike most people. He cared about what people thought about others and how they were treated. This could be what he describes in the poem. Paraphrase
This poem is about a boy who died poor and left other people to pay for his debts. It seems as though he didn't have much at all besides his girlfriend. From the context of the poem I believe that he was always made fun of by the town and only his girlfriend cared for him.
Rhyme- pay, day, lay
Repetition with punctuation Figurative meaning; who/what really killed the boy Repetitive; repeats throughout poem and title to show emphases. Imagery; "And the lid shut on his head and the organ had done played and the last prayers been said and six pallbearers carried him out for dead"..."That long black hearse" Simile- "Shined just like a tear--" Works Cited: