Carson Breivik

Biography

Arna Bontemps was born October 13, 1902 in Alexandria, Louisiana. At age three he moved to Los Angeles after his father was threatened by two drunk white men. He went to San Fernando Academy boarding school. He graduated with an A.B. He became a teacher in 1924 in Harlem, and met some of the great men of the Harlem Renaissance. Through this he became a well-known Harlem Renaissance poet.
Arna started posting poetry to magazines in 1924. He received awards for his poems in 1926 and 1927. He wrote his first fictional novel God Sends Sunday in 1931. He received awards for that, and later novels as he published them. This showed that black men were able to publish great works of literature and changed the minds of many white people. From 1943 to 1965, he worked as a librarian at Fisk University. He died in 1973 of a heart attack while writing his biography ("Arna Bontemps").
external image arna-bontemps.jpg
(Hayden, Robert)

Poem analysis

"Reconnaissance"

After the cloud embankments,
the lamentation of wind
and the starry descent into time,
we came to the flashing waters and shaded our eyes
from the glare.

Alone with the shore and the harbor,
the stems of the cocoanut trees,
the fronds of silence and hushed music,
we cried for the new revelation
and waited for miracles to rise.

Where elements touch and merge,
where shadows swoon like outcasts on the sand
and the tried moment waits, its courage gone--
there were we

in latitudes where storms are born. (Bontemps, Arna)

Analysis

As a young boy, Arna had to face a lot of change after moving to California. Later in his life he became influential and successful, despite his father trying to get him to forget his colored culture.

Works Cited

" Arna Bontemps- Poets.org - Poetry, Poems, Bios & More." Poets.org - Poetry, Poems, Bios & More. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2012. <http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/128>.
Bontemps, Arna. "Reconnaissance - Poem by Arna Bontemps." Famous Poets and Poems - Read and Enjoy Poetry. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2012. <http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/arna_bontemps/poems/3388>.
Hayden, Robert. "Arna Bontemps : The Poetry Foundation." Poetry Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2012. <http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/arna-bontemps>.