Langston Hughes Inspiration

Decent Essays

There are countless times as one grows up when you just stop for a second and reminisce on random things. These memories serve for a very special purpose as the things you do in life shapes you into the person you will become. Today, many authors and poets make use of their memories and experiences in their work as a way to reflect back on their lives, raise awareness, or just simply to tell a story. As a prominent contributor to the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes was an inspirational poet who highlighted many aspects of the urban life of African-Americans through reflections of his own life and experiences. As a writer, a poet and a prominent activist of the civil rights movement, Langston Hughes was a man that was not only …show more content…

Through this mindset, Hughes set out to revolutionize poetry and created such expressive and inspirational work just by reflecting on his own life. He also takes into account with the existing racism at this time that was against him and anyone of color. By incorporating his life into his work, it created a voice for those who were not able to speak up and as a result, life met art (The Harlem Project).
Throughout his works, especially his poetry, Hughes also draws inspiration from music. He describes the blues as ‘“sad funny songs – too sad to be funny and too funny to be sad”’ as the songs hold ‘“laughter and pain, hunger and heartache”’ (Poetry Criticism). This point of view is noticeably reflected onto his poems when some stanzas are in the “form of the typical blues song” (Poetry Criticism). In other words, the stanza had two nearly identical lines followed by a third that contrasts the first two and this is seen in Same in Blues where he uses the repetition of the word “baby” in the first two lines. In his poetry, Hughes captures the voices, experience, emotions and spirit of the African Americans during this time. His poems have also been influenced by the Afro-American life essays written by W.E.B. DuBois and the black vernacular (DiYanni p.700-705). This is shown in Fine Clothes to the Jew, as Hughes addresses the hardship and struggle of urban African Americans in Harlem who left the deep south in hopes of achieving their American Dream. However,

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