Analysis Of Langston Hughes ' Poem ' The Negro Speaks Of Rivers '

1242 Words5 Pages
Daniel Lemaire
Professor Merton Lee
28 October 2014
Essay 2
While reading Langston Hughes’ poem, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” the theme of roots is predominant throughout the reading, this theme raises question to the whole meaning of the poem. Although the word “roots” itself is never in the actual text, it contains strong details of the poem promoting deep imagery and depiction of veins, tributaries, and the roots of the plants and trees. Hughes wanted to give the reader the illusion of a timelessness in these objects. While through his depiction of language and imagery, Hughes manages to be able to implement two meanings into his poems on the theme of roots. A reader can interpret the understanding of the theme is that the roots are referring to the deep roots of trees have or “roots” in a family or as also in History. Through these imagery and representation used by Hughes, the reader begins to comprehend the intricacy of the reading and is clarified as it focuses on the themes that are enormous as opposed to a simple river or blood flowing through a human veins, rather it is an account to African-American history as it has thrived along rivers, Hughes writing “My soul has grown deep like the rivers.”(Line 10) giving life and allowing “human veins” (Line 3) to flow with the rivers and strengthening their strong historical roots.

While reading the short first stanza, the speaker of the poem states that he has “known rivers ancient as the world and older than
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