Waring Cuney

Lingxi Zhong
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Waring Cuney

Waring Cuney was born on May 6, 1906 in Washington D.C. He was an African American poet as well as a composer. He went to Howard University for his basic degree but graduated in Lincoln University, which is in Pennsylvania. After graduating he went to the New England Conservatory of Music to pursue his dream of being a singer. After that he went to Boston and tried performing. Because no one would hire him he eventually gave up singing and picked up writing instead. At the age of 18, Waring Cuney wrote a poem named "No Images" and entered it into a poetry contest and won a prize. To this day "No Images" is still a very significant symbol of the Harlem Renaissance. It is still to this day his most famous poem. ("Cuney")

After "No Images" none of his poems made too big of an impact onto the Harlem Renaissance. He made poems of Southern Exposure that told the tails of discrimination against African Americans. He wrote poems throughout the 1930's. After that, he served in World War II as a Technical Sergeant. He earned 3 bronze medals for his performance and moved back to Bronx. In 1960 he wrote the "Puzzles" which was a book of poems for a Dutch Literary Society. After writing "The Puzzles" he disappeared and withdraw all contact from his friends including Langston Hughes. In 1972 Cuney emerged again to publish his collection of poems "Storefront Church". He died in 1976. (" William Waring")

Poetry Analysis

She does not knowher beauty,she thinks her brown bodyhas no glory.
If she could dancenakedunder palm treesand see her image in the river,she would know.
But there are no palm treeson the street,and dish water gives backno images.
Waring Cuney was an extremely significant poet in the Harlem Renaissance because of his reflective styles. Cuney's styles reflect how the black suffrage movement formed and went through. His poems are very moving and have many hidden meanings. Here is his poem "No Images" which is one of the first poems he wrote and the first ever to win a prize for Cuney. He uses strong imagery and symbolism.
The first verse "She does not know her beauty" is that he's referring to an African American Woman. That woman has been called names and suffered because of her skin tone. Her self confidence has reached an all time low and she has no love for herself. This is because she is in a racist world that discriminates. But the last line "Her beauty" states that she is beautiful, states that underneath she is a good person. The third line says "She thinks her brown body, has no glory." This line means that she thinks of herself as ugly.
The Second Stanza says "If she could dance naked under palm tree's" The term naked does not mean literally. When Cuney says naked he means if she could live, in a world without discrimination where she could be free, then she would see her value, she would see her own beauty. The image in the river (8) represents the other world that she could see herself in. The third Stanza represents reality, there are no palm tree's, which symbolize people that don't judge her, the dish water represents the world that throws her aside, and does not give her the image, of her beauty.

Works Cited

Works Cited
Cuney, William Waring. "No Images by William Waring Cuney : The Poetry Foundation." Poetry Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2012. <http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/237938>.

Hayden, Robert. "William Waring Cuney : The Poetry Foundation." Poetry Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2012. <http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/william-waring-cuney>.

"William Waring Cuney - The Black Renaissance in Washington, DC." DC Library Labs | . N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2012. <http://029c28c.netsolhost.com/blkren/bios/cuneyww.html>.

come, stating that the song was for the West Indian servant women who had. "Waring Cuney." washingtonart home page. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2012. <http://washingtonart.com/beltway/cuney.html>.

performing, the time that singer Nina Simone began, recording the poem (as "Images") in the 1960s, poets, and including Maya Angelou. "William Waring Cuney: Biography from Answers.com." Answers.com: Wiki Q&A combined with free online dictionary, thesaurus, and encyclopedias. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2012. <http://www.answers.com/topic/william-waring-cuney>.


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