Monday, September 10, 2007

Poems of Langston Hughes

A fine article on Langston Hughes' poetry can be found from the following link:

http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/journey/hughes-transcript.html

Webcast Archive: http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/journey/video/lahughes.ram

A few poems of Langston Hughes presented below:

Democracy

By Langston Hughes
Democracy will not come
Today, this year
Nor ever
Through compromise and fear.

I have as much right
As the other fellow has
To stand
On my two feet
And own the land.

I tire so of hearing people say,
Let things take their course.
Tomorrow is another day.
I do not need my freedom when I’m dead.
I cannot live on tomorrow’s bread.

Freedom
Is a strong seed
Planted In a great need.
I live here, too.
I want freedom
Just as you.

Harlem
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?

Militant

By Langston Hughes


Let all who will
Eat quietly the bread of shame.
I cannot,
Without complaining loud and long.
Tasting its bitterness in my throat,
And feeling to my very soul
It's wrong.
For honest work
You proffer me poor pay,
for honest dreams
Your spit is in my face,
And so my fist is clenched
Today-
To strike your face.


Dreams

by Langston Hughes


Hold fast to dreams

For if dreams die

Life is a broken-winged bird

That cannot fly.


Hold fast to dreams

For when dreams go

Life is a barren field

Frozen with snow.


I, Too, Sing America
by Langston Hughes

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.



Tomorrow,

I'll be at the table

When company comes.

Nobody'll dare

Say to me,

"Eat in the kitchen,"

Then.



Besides,

They'll see how beautiful I am

And be ashamed--



I, too, am America.

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