"Between the World and Me"
Topically this poem investigates the speaker's response to stumbling upon a previous night's lynching scene. Structurally, the poem prominently utilizes the catalog and dramatic monologue conventions.
Paul Lawrence Dunbar's "The Haunted Oak"
Etheridge Knight's "The Bones of My Father"
Robert Hayden's "Night, Death, Mississippi"
Steve Scafidi "Onlookers with the Burned Body of Jesse Washington, Eighteen-Year-Old African-American, Waco, Texas, 1916"
Ai's "Child Beater"
Ai's poem forces the reader to identify with an abusive parent, which often makes the reader uncomfortable. Although Wright's speaker identifies himself with the victim, the uncomfortable positions and the manner in which the dramatic monologue forces the reader to confront a situation from another viewpoint is what makes the convention so effective.
James Weldon Johnson's "Brothers"
Although Johnson's poem works thematically with "Between the World and Me," perhaps what makes it a worthy pairing with Wright is that it utilizes the dramatic monologue and a lynching scene in which the victim speaks and is then lynched for his statement.
Robert Browning's "My Last Duchess"
Sylvia Plath's "Lady Lazarus"
T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
Walt Whitman's "I Hear America Singing"
Line and Measure:
C.K. William's "Tar"