Future topic guide – Vol. 1

Always fun to see what Google thinks you are going to search for.  We just typed “what influenced” and autofill kicked in from there.  We guess the public is telling us what we should cover with the blog:

google-captureAlso should note that we did this same search this morning and Elvis Presley was the first entry, but for some reason by this evening he is no longer of interest, and Shakespeare has snuck in.  Nice job, Bill.

Let’s try who…


Jack Delano [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Slightly different mix, but Shakespeare hangs in there, and Hughes jumps to number one!

Wait, really, Langston Hughes?  Is the world suddenly starting to embrace early 20th-century jazz poetry?  Hard to say for sure, but sticking with who/what influenced Hughes, here’s the answer, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Modern American Poetry site:

“His major early influences were Walt Whitman, Carl Sandburg, as well as the black poets Paul Laurence Dunbar, a master of both dialect and standard verse, and Claude McKay, a radical socialist who also wrote accomplished lyric poetry. However, Sandburg, who Hughes later called “my guiding star,” was decisive in leading him toward free verse and a radically democratic modernist aesthetic.”

Good stuff with “my guiding star” but the rest of the paragraph lacks that key context we discussed earlier.  Where are the citations?  What did Hughes actually say about Whitman and Sandburg?  We’ll have to return to this in a later post.

Plus reggae, The Beatles, Shakespeare, Dr. Seuss, Elvis, Frost.  <cracks knuckles>  Okay.

Or, is this because the cookie on this computer is telling Google that these are the things that we are interested in?  Can anybody out there let us know if you see something different when you type this into Google?  just email our domain name *at* gmail.com!

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