Category Archives: Formal Poetic Analysis

Gwendolyn Bennett


Gwendolyn Bennett
I sailed in my dreams to the Land of Night a
Where you were the dusk-eyed queen, b
And there in the pallor of moon-veiled light a
The loveliest things were seen … b
A slim-necked peacock sauntered there c
In a garden of lavender hues, d
And you were strange with your purple hair e
As you sat in your amethyst chair e
With your feet in your hyacinth shoes. d

Oh, the moon gave a bluish light  f
Through the trees in the land of dreams and night. f
I stood behind a bush of yellow-green  g
And whistled a song to the dark-haired queen … g

Gwendolyn Bennett is a well known poet during the Harlem Renaissance.  She is one of the first African American women to be noted for such wonderful literary pieces. She was a teacher, writer, and a visual artist she never published her collected work. Although many of her poems, short stories appeared in literary journals. I love this poem i think it has a wonderful meaning and i feel that is came from her heart. This poem has a exceptional amount of imagery. I think the theme of this poem is hope and passion but then again i see it as something she doesn’t want to become. I think she choose to use all these colors that i highlighted because she is a person of color,and maybe she is trying to get the attention of the reader by presenting things by there color. The one reason i think she may have envied this character was because of all the different tones of purple that she decided to use. Purple is a universal color that represents royalty and wealth.  While i was doing a deep reading of this poem i started to noticed certain words that should me that maybe the speaker didn’t want to be anything like the queen. Words like, strange, dusk-eyed, dark, told me that she was admiring the queen but did not want to be in the queens hyacinth shoes in her amethyst chair.

The dark red letters to the right of the poem represent the rhyming scheme that was used for this poem.  There are three sets of rhyming couplets in the three stanzas, was this done on purpose? The setting of this dream vision is in a garden of purple hues. There are many symbols that Gwendolyn decided to use and they mean different things to each reader. For example some symbols would be, amethyst chair, hyacinth shoes, slim-necked peacock, trees, song, whistled, i found all of these to be very important to the meaning of this poem. I think the speaker could have been spying on the queen in her land of dreams because why did she whistle the song? Can she not sing? Why was she hiding behind a bush within the trees? Why did she point out her shoes does she want to be in them? Whats so special about the dark hair queens amethyst chair? Is she scared of the queen?

This poem is a very neat one and has so many different elements that still are being discovered. I love the fact that this poem leaves you questioning your analyses. It really allows you to look at all the different opportunity’s and possibility’s.


Poetic Analysis of Authors Dreame

 What does feminist mean?
Feminist are  women that strongly believe that the advocacy of women’s rights are based on political, social, and economic equality to men. When reading our course reading on the feminist theory it really brought to my attention how important it was during this time period when this poem was written by Aemilia Lanyer. Refer to Lenses: Perspectives on Literature- Second Edition pg.189-196

The poem, “The Author’s Dream” does suggest that this work is pro-woman. After reading and understanding the terms from, “Lenses” I felt I had a better understanding of what Aemeli Lanyer wanted to express in her poem. Lanyer suggest that women have power over others by referring to them as goddesses she used names like Aurora (goddess of dawn), Lady Mae (goddess of spring and flowers),  Bellona (goddess of war and wisdom), Joves (queen of gods). Here is one example as how much power women are given in this poem,

“That being dead, his fame doth him survive,

Still living in the hearts of worthy men;

Pale Death is dead, but he remains alive,

Whose dying wounds restor’d him life agen.


And this faire earthly goddesse which you see,

Bellona and her virgins doe attend;

In virtous studies of Divinitie,

Her pretious time continually doth spend.”

Bellona came to Sidney(Lady Mary’s Brother) rescue and saved his life. She is now a Heroic Figure for this poem, as we continue reading this poem Bellona is considered as a “beauteous soule” and “to have a blessed spirit full of holy love”. She is rewarded by having a place in heaven and on earth she has a double life for her heroic actions.

There are many phrases and words that are used to describe women in a flattering way. The word beauteous (beautiful) is used very frequently though out. Other powering words that are used are, “honored”, “sweet delight”, “grace”, “light”, I found all these words used many times throughout the poem and they were either describing or giving power to these women. Aemilia I believe tries to make the women in this poem to act as very beautiful and heroic figures to those beneath them. There is a sense of community between all the women in this poem they all have different jobs but are all trying to help and do for the good. Looking at poetic elements Aemilia used a rhyming scheme where the ends of the line would rhyme it was ABAB, CDCD,EFEF, and so forth through out. She also did a very good job with imagery i felt as if i was in the poem the entire time knowing what was happening and how things appeared. The poem Authors Dreame was to provide women with major roles in Christian Values through history and for women to be strong and powerful. During this poem i noticed that the poem is in a females point of veiw and during this time period women did not have much power. i came to the conclusion that Aemilia was one that dreamed that one day women would be treated as equal to men and have a part in this world.