In the poem “Ruminate Ruminate” by Robert Hayden he describes what it would be like to be a runaway slave. He uses rhythmic style in his poem to show how the runaway slaves would keep on running, and shows many points of views of what went on. “Runs falls rises stumbles on from darkness into darkness and the darkness thicketed with shapes of terror and the hunters pursuing and the hounds pursuing and the night cold and the night long and the river to cross and the Jack-mum- lanterns beckoning beckoning and blackness ahead and when shall I reach that nowhere morning and keep on going and never turn back and keep going”(line 1- linen).
Hayden is informing his readers of how it was like to run away from a slave owner. In the beginning of Hoyden’s poem he does not use any periods because he wants to show the reader that he could not stop. If Hayden stopped to rest or to catch his breath there was a chance that he could have been caught by his owner, and he would have been severely beaten or killed. “Some go weeping and some rejoicing some in coffins and some in carriages some in silks and some in shackles”(line 15- inline 7).
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In these lines Hayden describes different perspectives during the slaves escape. In those lines Hayden has the outcomes; if you were caught you had to go back to being a slave or end up dead, if you got away you were free and happy. “if you see my Pompom, 30 yr of age, new breeches, plain stockings, negro shoes; if you see my Anna, likely young mulatto branded E on the right cheek, R on the left, catch them if you can and notify subscriber. Catch them if you can, but it won’t be easy.
They’ll dart underground when you try to catch them, plunge into quicksand, whirlpools, mazes, turn into scorpions when you try to catch them'”(line 21-line). In these lines Hayden shows an example of how a slave owner would put up a wanted sign if his slaves were missing. It seems that the slave owner thinks that his/her slaves were like monsters because he/she says they were very difficult to catch and if tried to catch them they would attack you. In the second half of Hoyden’s poem he goes on to describe what Harriet Tuba did for the runaway slaves. And fear starts a-marbling, ‘Never make it, we’ll never make it. ‘Hush that now’, and she’s turned upon us, leveled pistol glinting in the moonlight: ‘Dead folks can’t Jaybird-talk’, she says; ‘you keep on going now or die’ she says. “(line 47-nine). In these lines Hayden shows how Harriet Tuba would react to someone who was afraid and did not want to try and escape. Tuba had only a goal to help as many slaves escape to freedom and she would not let anyone go back. “Wanted Harriet Tuba alias The General, alias Moses Stealer of Slaves.