I know a few people have already discussed this, but I also wanted to reflect on Marlon Riggs’ use of poetry as a vehicle for communicating with the audience. By using poetry as a means for communication, I believe Riggs is able to say a lot more with the art than he would be able to say if he were just speaking to the audience. Poetry in “Tongues Untied” is especially helpful as a method for trying “explain” sexuality, a concept that can be very hard for people to understand. Through his use of poetry, Riggs is able to express his very real self and his true reality. The art of poetry can be so helpful and transcendent in comparison to straightforward talk. Poetry allows the audience to have a more intimate relationship with the artist. The audience gains empathy for the artist when they experience the way poetry paints a picture of Riggs’ experience. In a way, Riggs words allow the audience to come inside the reality his poem has created through the metaphorical and personal lines of the poem.

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One response »

  1. maddiemcc19 says:

    The use of poetry was also a powerful tool for illustrating Riggs’ experience individually. Because his poetry was so personal, he was able to be personal, rather than try to “explain” or “represent” the experience of black, gay men as a whole.

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