On: Robert Hayden's Early Work and Cultural Context

In the context of the 1930s, when drama was far more central an art form than today, and when galvanizing the exploited into resistance through public readings was regarded as a legitimate artistic objective, much of Hayden's poetry was successful in accomplishing his goals in striking and stirring ways. But such an achievement can only constitute "literary value" if one regards Hayden's poems of the 1930s from the perspective of the literary objectives held by the poet at the time.