Richard Bruce Nugent

By: Cody Davis
external image NUGENT%205a.gif Nugent in 1982

Biography: Richard Bruce Nugent was born on July 2, 1906 in Washington D.C. to a middle-class family. Growing up Nugent moved to New York in 1920 after his father passed away. He held a succession of jobs, ranging from a bellhop, to an apprentice with the catalog house of Stone, Van Dresser, where he received his first training in art. When he told his mother that he was going to be an artist, his mother made him move back to Washington with his grandparents. Back in Washington he met a middle aged poet named Georgia Johnson, who taught Nugent about poetry. In 1925 in one of Georgia's salons Richard met Langston Hughes who would later help him publish a poem. Hughes introduced Nugent to many different people from the Harlem Renaissance like Countee Cullen. Later on in his life some of his art became published and shown to the public. His oil paintings were more famous. He was also famous for insisting on freedom when freedom was not allowed.


On the face of the moon
Am I.
A dark shadow in the light.
A silhouette am I
On the face of the moon
Lacking color
Or vivid brightness
But defined all the clearer
I am dark,
Black on the face of the moon.
A shadow am I
Growing in the light,
Not understood as is the day,
But more easily seen
I am a shadow in the light.

Analysis: Although this poem seems very simple, is actually is very deep and emotional. This poem contains a lot of depth like this line," a silhouette stands out against the light", which is very likely a symbol for the loneliness of being different. This applied to Nugent's life because he was African American, and openly homosexual, which were two big minorities at the time. However, this poem can apply to anyone in the world with the feeling of being alone or set apart from everyone else. At the end of the poem where is says he stood out, it is almost positive because he definitely stood out with his art and poetry.

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