Poet 13: Langston Hughes

Whew! After Adrienne Rich's poetry, it was refreshing to read Langston. He hit my heart with the African-American experience. That is one thing I have appreciated about Susan Wise-Bauer: she has included many works by African-Americans that have opened my eyes (Invisible Man, Native Son, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Song of Solomon, Up From Slavery, Paul Laurence Dunbar and Rita Dove poems).

Here are some favorites:

I, Too

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody'll dare
Say to me,
"Eat in the kitchen,"

They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed--

I, too, am America.

Still Here

been scared and battered.
My hopes the wind done scattered.
Snow has friz me,
Sun has baked me,

Looks like between 'em they done
Tried to make me

Stop laughin', stop lovin', stop livin'--
But I don't care!
I'm still here!

I like selections from Montage of a Dream Deferred

Dream Deferred (now I know where the title of the play comes from)

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

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