He says that “its cover stares at [him]” every time he passes the corner store. Join the conversation by. Summary. America how can I write a holy litany in your silly mood? Even the stanzas of the poem are also irregular and unplanned. He relates the poem to music, saying that the key to understanding the structure of the poem is “in the jazz choruses.” The final stanza of the poem is an amalgamation of rhythms and a stream of consciousness writing. America stop pushing I know what I’m doing. Her thirst for literature makes her explore through the nuances of it. He quotes his psychoanalyst’s opinion, who thinks he is perfectly right in thinking, to reiterate that he is aware of all that he is doing and speaking. What does “bread of bitterness” refer to in the poem? Yet, as we progress through the poem, McKay gathers strength, eventually moving to use the ‘I’ pronoun, reversing the earlier notion and finding his feet within the world. In, line 33, he highlights his support for socialism “You should have seen me reading Marx” the leading figure of socialism. It describes him as a supporter of the Industrial Workers of the World, “the Wobblies”. He wonders how long the country is going to let the Time Magazine rule or run their emotions for them. The speaker has a love/hate relationship with America, and ultimately, he loses faith in the country. Like, Henry Ford, he plans to assemble his poems as he likes individuals from others as sexes are from each other. The poem begins with the author stating his disappointment in America and introducing his poor financial and mental condition. The prominent ones include Apostrophe, Anaphora, Personification, Rhetorical Questions, etc. I haven’t read the newspapers for months, everyday somebody goes on trial for murder. These lines in the poem focus on a more positive side of America, highlighting ‘her’ ‘vigor’ that gives ‘strength’ to her citizens. The speaker seems to be arguing with America, the country. Line 61, describes the happy memory of a communist meeting Ginsberg attended as a child. America two dollars and twentyseven cents January 17, 1956. (…) We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously. Like other Ginsberg poems, the structure is really meant to be heard rather than read, as it is conversational in nature. The poem is very brief, containing only five stanzas, two of which are only one line long. Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site. “Apostrophe,” the poetic technique refers to the practice of addressing someone or something in a poem as if it could hear and respond.

The final two lines of the poem bare possible allusions to Shelley’s Ozymandias. Here, the poet has used it ironically “The Russia wants to eat us alive. Although within the country, he can distance himself from its patriotism in order to critique it. He asks, how he is supposed to write a prayer with the country’s present state. Upon the 8th line, the poem has a Volta, with a slight change in direction appearing in the verse.

Are you going to let your emotional life be run by Time Magazine? The Question and Answer section for America (Claude McKay poem) is a great I can’t stand my own mind. […] Her make us all work sixteen hours a day.

It is through advertising that we are able to contribute to charity. “America” by Walt Whitman Analysis. Here the mother country only feeds her "youth" the "bread of bitterness," "stealing" his life away in an image of vampirism that McKay repeatedly uses to characterize white America. In the speaker’s view, America is on the verge of ruin, and he is desperate to … This opening quatrain is rich with figurative language, encapsulating through metaphor and paradox the sense that America both sustains and harms the speaker, and it also introduces the personification of America as a woman, which is the poem's most crucial conceit. As the title suggests, the setting of the poem is in America, especially in the 1950s. On the whole, the poet expresses his view on the present condition of meaningless inactivity that cannot go on forever. Meanwhile, he tries to reconcile with America, suggesting it to look for “some other way to settle this argument” than using the military power. The next line is a direct accusation of America for ignoring its people and focusing on other issues such as “the whorehouses of France” and “Tangiers”. ‘America’ is a summary of Ginsberg’s political views and an analysis of the then situations in the United States. Similar poems of Ginsberg include ‘A Supermarket In California‘, ‘Howl,’ ‘Homework,’ ‘An Eastern Ballad,’ ‘A Western Ballad,’ and ‘Death & Fame.’. The second section of "America" comprises the second quatrain and half of the third, made up of two complete sentences of three lines each. Please continue to help us support the fight against dementia. (…) The opening lines of America focus on the ‘bitterness’ which the country inspires. In the first stanza of ‘Let America Be America Again,’ the speaker begins by making use of the line that later came to be used as the title. Ginsberg uses a number of literary poetic devices in the poem ‘America’. Breakdown Analysis of I, Too, Sing America. Upon the 8th line, the poem has a Volta, with a slight change in direction appearing in the verse. That poem explores the power of nature, and how it will continue to exist long after humans have crumbled. The poem ‘America’ highlights the irregular meter and structure that is the hallmark of Ginsberg’s poetry. I will continue like Henry Ford my strophes are as individual as his automobiles more so they’re all different sexes. The poem is at once a critique and a love letter to the United States of America. Hughes utilizes free verse here. Miz Alb received her MA in English Literature. Things are dismal and bleak, and the speaker feels rather let down. This comes out further in the poem, with the poet concluding that although brutal, ugly, and difficult, America is a powerful force that withstands time. At the beginning of the poem, McKay uses passive sentences that place ‘she’ as the active force, representing how the world is beating the poet down. I won’t say the Lord’s Prayer. McKay also makes allusions to Percy Shelley’s Ozymandias, furthering the idea that America may one day crumble into nothing. Yet, he also comments on the ‘bitterness’, violence, and corruption the country is known for. After logging in you can close it and return to this page.

In the following lines, he expresses how he too is obsessed with it and reads it every week.
America this is quite serious. About his religious beliefs, he doesn’t conform to any for he says, “I won’t say the Lord’s Prayer./I have mystical visions and cosmic vibrations”. The poet understands that it is a country that has a quality that inspires strength and passion, although there are certainly many bits that do the opposite. My ambition is to be President despite the fact that I’m a Catholic. ", McKay's poem is a 14 line "Shakespearean" sonnet about America—though we only know that from the title, as McKay never references America in the poem itself. The daily moments which are horrible, the country being personified and feeding the poet ‘bread of bitterness’. He continues to comment on what the magazine telling him and the people. The conversation turns into an indirect warning to America by line 16 for viewing itself as that sort of perfect world.

McKay's poem is a 14 line "Shakespearean" sonnet about America—though we only know that from the title, as McKay never references America in the poem itself. Movie producers are serious. I love this cultured hell that tests my youth. The word America is also repeated many times at the beginning of the lines to indicate how the poet insists on getting a response from America.

Annotated Poem- "America"Although she feeds me bread of bitterness, And sinks into my throat her tiger’s tooth, Stealing my breath of life, I will confess I love this cultured hell that tests my youth. Businessmen are serious.

America the plum blossoms are falling. America you don’t really want to go to war. (…)

McKay is suggesting that perhaps these beautiful things that make America so powerful may be lost to time, ‘sinking in the sand’ like the fall of Ozymandias’ statue and kingdom. In the poem, the speaker converse with America as if he is talking to himself. Please support this website by adding us to your whitelist in your ad blocker. And, the sentences often run on without punctuation. You can read the full poem here at Poetry Foundation. America quite literally smothers him, being overbearing and unpleasant in ‘stealing my breath of life’. What's your thoughts? I have abolished the whorehouses of France, Tangiers is the next to go. The login page will open in a new tab. Every single person that visits PoemAnalysis.com has helped contribute, so thank you for your support. I am talking to myself again. America I will sell you strophes $2500 apiece $500 down on your old strophe . The login page will open in a new tab. Them Russians them Russians and them Chinamen. Further, he states that change cannot come unless the people take initiative themselves. McKay focuses on the horrors of the country, the violence, and ‘bitterness’ apparent being a key point of criticism. What's your thoughts? Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest and greatest poetry updates. In spite of his desire to see changes in society, he has not revealed, how he would attain it.
Her vigor flows like tides into my blood, His abrupt statement is emphasized by the syntactic placement at the beginning of the line, and then is further focused upon due to the ending of the quatrain with a full stop.

In this poem, ‘America’, the speaker addresses America directly. In the lines between 27 and 36, Ginsberg moves from criticizing America to throwing light upon his own character. The use of ‘cultured hell’, as I have mentioned above in the Poetic Techniques section, is an oxymoron.


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