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Word Count: 708
Homesick Blues written by Langston Hughes in 1926 towards the beginning of the Harlem Renaissance and Tin Roof Blues written by Sterling A Brown in 1931 towards the end of the Harlem Renaissance are two woeful poems that both make use of the basic form and elements of the blues On a broader level they have the same theme of migration and their speakers express similar motivations for and desires of migration The poems major symbol the train is also similar in shape and significance Although historically jazz not the blues is associated with the Harlem Renaissance the writers of the movement celebrated the musical styling of the blues in their poetry Homesick Blues and Tin Roof Blues are perfect examples of this Browns Tin Roof Blues is written in the more traditional blues form three lines of four beats each per versestanza with the first line of each versestanza repeated twice and followed by a third end-rhymed line For example the first stanza of the poem reads Im goin where de Southern crosses top de C O Im goin where de Southern crosses top de C O Im goin down de country cause I cant stay here no mo Homesick Blues while not adhering to the blues form as strictly as Tin Roof Blues still maintains some of its elements such as repetition but instead of repeating without interruption its lines repeat every other line which the first four lines of its first stanza illustrates De railroad bridges A sad song in de air De railroad bridges A sad song in de air When this poem is read aloud however it sounds as though it is written in the traditional form of the blues In addition to celebrating the musical styling of the blues in their poetry the writers of the Harlem Renaissance often focused on the theme of migration which hundreds of thousands of the members of their primary audience African
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