Langston Hughes was born February 1, 1902. The poet was born during the era known as the Harlem Renaissance. He grew up watching blacks discriminated by white people. At that time the white people were the dominant color. As he grew up, he attended public schools in Kansas and Illinois. When he was attending the schools, he was named a class poet, although he had never written a poem (“Hughes”1). That made him happy and proud of himself. He had idea on his mind. The title sparked an interest in writing poetry. After the public schools, Langston graduated from Hugh School in Cleveland, Ohio. Hughes was graduating with good grades (“Hughes”2).
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Langston Hughes started thinking about poetry. He was introduced to the works of poet Carl Sandburg, another poet from the Midwest (“Hughes”2). Langston was happy that he had opportunity to look at some works. A while after he had seen Carl’s works, he began writing poetry by himself. He tried to work hard on his poems. Hughes started submitting his works to the magazines, but all of them were rejected (“Hughes”2). After these bad messages, Hughes went to the Mexico. He spent the year after High School in Mexico with his father. He wrote the poems in that country. After the success of “Not Without Laugher” inspired Hughes to live as an author (“Hughes”3). A couple months later, the poet wrote some twenty plays, including “Mulatto”and “Simply Heavenly.” Langston Hughes received awards for book on improving race relations.
The poem that represents Langston was “The Negro Speaks Of River”. The poem begins, “I’ve known rivers: / I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the / flow of human blood in human veins”(“The Negro” 1). The river symbolizes the linkage of all human life from the earliest time to the present. He continues, naming rivers that represent the history of Western culture. Almost every American who has a love of verse remembers that poem. Hughes relates the struggle of black people to the history of rivers.
Langston Hughes also wrote a poem called “Dream Variations”. This poem combines two distinct motifs that were evident in Langston Hughes’s poetry throughout his lifetime. This poem is concerned with confronting and resisting racism. As you read it, Langston expresses an intense, momentary feeling. By this poem, Langston impressed people. Dreams and poems invite interpretation through the use of imagination and knowledge.
The “Dream Deferred” was written with a message. In this poetry, Langston wrote a statement about his dreams. He wrote that the dream is not only during sleep time, but it is a goal in life too. It is important to his life. A dream or goal must have negative effects. He offers a possibility of negative effects. As he’s saying, ” Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun”: raisin is dry and it’s nutritious and healthy, but if it will dry up, it will be impossible to eat. Hughes wrote that a dream or goal is central that make the member valuable in society (“Deferred”1). This means that a dream is something that you have to wait for.
Hughes poem “Let America Be America Again” is showing the thing that poet wants to improve in America. He’s asking America to be America again. Langston asked for the lovely land back, so that never would take away this land. He is asking for the land where liberty is crowded. The writer wants equality on his land. He wants the dreams like they used to be. Hughes wants his world without any blood or pain. The way he’s speaking contributes to the meaning. His tone seems so loud, like the poet is talking about his own experience in America. The writer points out the flaws in the ideas of freedom and equal opportunity in his poem. These words are making the reader feel for the speaker and hear the idea that America has not been “good” to everyone equally. In fact, for some, America has never yet lived up to its reputation (“Let America”1).
Langston wrote “The Negro Mother.” That poem is deep and emotional. It describes and images the struggle and strife that African – Americans had to do in order to break free from the chains of slavery. This woman tells her story of her hope that her children and every other African-American will lead the way to a better and more productive life for all blacks. Langston Hughes used figurative language and great word choice to create an educational tone for all to read. The Negro Mother is not only for African-Americans, but it can represent the struggle that everyone has had to be where they are today.
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The poet also wrote “Mother to Son.” Hughes is trying to show for people that we all have some hardships and problems. We can’t give up on life. The poem is written by mother. Mother who is trying to let her son know that in her life, she too has gone through many frustrations just like what her son is going through. The tone of this great poem is very dramatic. She illustrates the hardships that she had to go through in order to get where she is today. The mother explains that the hardships that she has gone through in her life have helped her become the person that she has come to be (“Mother ” 1).
In his other art work,”Night Funeral in Harlem”. Langston Hughes talked so loud. He tried to express his feelings about the funeral. The name of the poem “Night Funeral in Harlem” makes me feel depressed. However the first line of the poem is very positive; it talks about how nice the funeral cars are. The next line makes me feel sad because the guy that died did not leave any money for his family because he did not pay his insurance. His family must have loved him so much. They bought him a coffin that had nice satin material in it even though he did not leave them any money. The next line talks about the flowers that he received. It seems like his friends liked him a lot and spend money on flowers. His girlfriend was sad that he was dead. She paid for the preacher to preach his funeral. His friends planned his funeral really well; they had pallbearers and an organ and prayers at his funeral. So everybody was sad that was there, it was apparent because they made a funeral nice for him.
Throughout Langston career, the poetry stays unlearned and simple. The black masses and himself viewed beneath criticism. He had a powerful impact on many young black poets, who followed his lead in drawing on the tradition of the blues. Langston Hughes contributed a tremendous influence on black culture throughout the United States during the era known as the Harlem Renaissance. He wrote poem that showed black pride in a time where white was a dominant color. He helped heal people’s pain by writing poetry through a time of depression. He is usually considered to be one of the most prolific and most-recognized black poets of the Harlem Renaissance. He broke through barriers that very few black artists had done before this period. Hughes was presented with a great opportunity with the rise black art during the 1920’s and by his creative style of poetry, which used black culture as its basis and still appealed to all ethnicities. He received first place In “Opportunity magazine,” first prize in “undergraduate poetry”. For all of his works, he was honored as the best African-American poet during Harlem Renaissance.
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