The Poetry of Anne Sexton and Langston Hughes.
Both Anne Sexton and Langston Hughes are poets, deserving of great recognition. Sexton, a feminist and Hughes, a culturalist both wrote about the issues that were relevant to their lives during the time they were writing. It is obvious that the exact issues they wrote about were not similar, as Hughes, a black man from the South, whose life spanned 1902-1967 and Sexton, a white woman from Northeastern America, and lived from 1928-1974. Through poetic verse Hughes exhibits life of the African American trials and tribulations, as Sexton creates a similar aura of women in her work. She casts the burden of life as a woman onto her readers as Hughes does of the African American culture. "In his attempt to capture the lives of everyday African Americans he deals with subjects like prostitution, racism, lynching, and teenage pregnancy. Hughes is well know for the influence of jazz and bebop music in his poetry, both as a subject matter and as a structure" (Dace). While Anne, "made her mark as a poet by writing about the shocking and painful realities of women's lives, but also celebrated the beautiful and redemptive qualities of the female body at a time when it was scandalous to mention such biological realities as menstruation, menopause, or women's sexuality in public" (Hibbard). The work of both poets is captivating and delivers a deep feeling to its readers. Their works touch the reader even those who cannot relate to the context of the work. You do not have to be a woman to understand and feel Sexton's pain, nor must you be a black man during the Harlem Renaissance to understand Hughes.
Born, Anne Gray Harvey, this fascinating poet began her life in Newton, Massachusetts on November 9, 1928. She was born into an upper-middle class family and attended Rogers Preparatory School and The Garland School, a Boston finishing school. At the age of twenty, she eloped with a man named Alfred Muller Sexton.