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Editor's Note vii Introduction 1 Harold Bloom African-American Poetry The Preacherly Text: African American Poetry and Vernacular Performance 7 Marcellus Blount D.H. Lawrence and Black Writers 29 Leo Hamalian Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784) Introduction to The Poems of Phillis Wheatley 47 Julian D. Mason, Jr A Slave's Subtle War: Phillis Wheatley's Use of Biblical Myth and Symbol 69 Sondra O'Neale Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1911) "Let Me Make the Songs for the People": A Study of Frances Watkins Harper's Poetry 95 Patricia Liggins Hill Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906) Paul Dunbar and the Mask of Dialect 113 John Keeling Paul Laurence Dunbar: Master Player in a Fixed Game 129 Ralph Story James WeldonJohnson (1871-1938) A Weapon of My Song: The Poetry of James Weldon Johnson 153 Richard A. Long Claude McKay (1890-1948) Claude McKay's Romanticism 165 Geta J. LeSeur Jean Toomer (1894-1967) The Whitman Legacy and the Harlem Renaissance 177 George B. Hutchinson Sterling A. Brown (1901-1989) The New Negro Poet and the Nachal Man: Sterling Brown's Folk Odyssey 193 John S. Wright Langston Hughes (1902-1967) Jazz, Realism, and the Modernist Lyric: The Poetry of Langston Hughes 205 Anita Patterson Countee Cullen (1903-1946) "The Singing Man Who Must be Reckoned With": Private Desire and Public Responsibility in the Poetry of Countee Cullen 237 Peter Powers Dual Reality: Echoes of Blake's Tiger in Cullen's Heritage 265 Ronald E. Sheasby Melvin Beaunorus Tolson (1898-1966) Evolution of Style in the Poetry of Melvin B. Tolson 273 Mariann B. Russell A Hamlet Rives Us: The Sonnets of Melvin B. Tolson 291 Gary Smith Works by the Poets 305 Works about the Poets 307 Biographical Notes 311 Contributors 319 Acknowledgments 323 Index 325Library of Congress Subject Headings for this publication: American poetry African American authors History and criticism, African Americans in literature