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Despite the implication of the title, “The Weary Blues,” the process of singing his song of suffering seems to change the speaker’s mood from pain to acceptance, even peace. “The Weary Blues” is Hughes’s attempt to capture in poetry the musical traditions of his people. Although he won a prize for this poem in 1925, many critics black and white objected to his inclusion of folk-music traditions and Negro dialect, claiming that both reinforced Negro stereotypes. Hughes’s use of rhyming and rhythmical lines to tell his story of the blues that originate in “a black man’s soul” underscore the relation between words and music in African-American culture. The setting of “The Weary Blues” is a bar in Harlem in the 1920s and details such as“old gas light” and “rickety stool” evoke the place and the time period. The “droning” voice of the speaker of “The Weary Blues” betrays the phonic complexities of the poem’s title. His use of repetition, exclamation marks, and direct speech continue to echo the “droning” sounds of the weary blues of the Harlem bar.
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