Robert Hayden Essay - Robert Hayden Poetry: American Poets Analysis

Asa Bundy Sheffey

Robert Hayden Poetry: American Poets Analysis

In his poetry, Robert Hayden suggested that human beings once dwelt in a Neoplatonic world of faultless knowledge and harmony. Although he often cast a wistful backward glance toward that lost perfection, he also dreamed of an equally perfect future harmony through which the difficulties of this world could be transcended. Nevertheless, he focused his poetic attention on this world, on the shifting and equivocal present. Calling himself a “realist who distrusts so-called reality,” Hayden wrote with a clear realistic bent: His work centers on the natural and human of this place and time. These he lovingly describes, yet he also distrusts them; for the present reality is, both factually and poetically, one that betrays the hopes...

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