In “To Paint a Water Lily”, Hughes illustrates the process of an artist observing nature at a pond and painting a lily. While the speaker thoroughly observes all kinds of scenes in the pond, the painter only focuses on the lily. At the end of the poem, the painter resolves on painting only the lily, ignoring the other aspects of the pond. The speaker critiques the painter’s lack of attention to the surrounding and the desire to capture only the beautiful part of the pond. The poem contrasts the beauty and the violence created by the creatures around the lily and conveys that the calm appearance of the pond is not necessarily the reality.
Langston Hughes is regarded as one of the "most eloquent of American poets to have sung the wounds of political injustice." While some of his poetry can be classified as non-racial most of it can be categorized as literature of protest. Hughes background and personal beliefs were quite influential in his writing and it is reflected in his tremendous discontent for the "white man's world." Three of his works that that display this feeling and similar theme include "The Negro Speaks of Rivers," "Porter," and "Refugee in America."
“The history for Blacks in America starts at slavery,” the further I ponder this statement from my friend Joe, a navy veteran, the more I do not believe it to be true. Today many Blacks in America do not remember stories of their African heritage. Although, they may not know their African history, it does exist, and they did originate from Africa. So, their history does not start at slavery. In a recorded interview, Langston Hughes says he wrote the poem, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” in 1920, after he completed high school. Hughes also credits his source of inspiration to the Mississippi river which he passed, while on the train, to visit his father in Mexico. He acknowledged what the Mississippi symbolized to Negro people and how it was linked
Langston Hughes’ poem “Mother To Son” is a twenty line poem that seems to be from the perspective of a prudent mother that is giving her son, and possibly the readers, some helpful and supportive advice, telling them that, no matter how many adversities they may face, they can not give up. I believe that this is the main theme of the poem, perseverance. “So, boy, don’t you turn back./ Don’t you set down on the steps./ ‘Cause you find it’s kinder hard./ Don’t you fall now-/ For I’se still goin’ honey,” (15-17). In these lines, the mother really drives the idea of diligence and perseverance to her son. Also, in these lines, it can also be seen just how much this mother cares for and loves her child. She advises him to emulate her in the sense that she hasn’t given up and he shouldn’t either, so that they may climb the battered staircase of life together. This causes the mood to be overall relatively jovial and hopeful.
Langston Hughes clearly connects with a wide range of audiences through the simplicity that surrounds his poetry. The beauty of this manner in which he wrote his poetry, is that it grasp people by illustrating his narratives of the common lifestyles experienced by the current American generation. His art form expresses certain questionable ideologies of life and exposes to the audience what it takes to fully comprehend what being an American truly means. Each individual poem describes and illustrates the strength and hardships the African American community was experiencing. Through his literature art form of poetry, Hughes was able to convey the common assertions of
James Langston Hughes was born February 1, 1902, in Joplin, Missouri. His parents divorced when he was very small, and his father (who found American racism made his desires to be a lawyer impossible) left the family and emigrated to Mexico. Hughes' mother moved with her child to Lawrence, Kansas, so she and he could live with his grandmother, Mary Langston.
The short but inspirational poem "Harlem" by Langston Hughes addresses what happens to aspirations that are postponed or lost. The brief, mind provoking questions posed throughout the poem allow the readers to reflect--on the effects of delaying our dreams. In addition, the questions give indications about Hughes' views on deferred dreams.
Before I explain my take on what "identity" means in Langston Hughes works, I would like explain a little about a man who happened to be one of the most recognizable names in African- American literature, and the struggle he faced – as a writer and mostly as an African American. A brief glimpse into our darkest days and description of his life and about him will help elucidate the background, and his style of writing. Jordan stated African Americans journey and identity in the Americans started on the wrong no “Over a period of more than three centuries, in the slave ships of the Middle Passage and the plantations of the American South, peoples from many nations of what is now called West and Central Africa, brought together under conditions of extreme brutality, reinvented themselves as one people and they renamed themselves ‘African’, ‘Coloured People’ and ‘Negro’. Later, from end of the nineteenth century to the first few decades of the twentieth century, mostly in northern urban centres of the USA, the descendants of the slaves reinvented themselves again, this time as the ‘New Negro’”(848-891).
I would start explaining my interpretation of Hughes’ poem by saying that it is full of metaphors and similes. In several places Hughes refers to the rivers as being old. In line two he uses the word ‘ancient’ to describe them and again in line twelve. I originally thought that the rivers represented time but I now believe that they represent the speaker’s soul. My interpretation of this poem is a narrative sprinkled with similes that repeatedly make this comparison of the rivers and the speaker’s soul. The narrative begins when the speaker says that he ‘bathed in the Euphrates river when dawns were young’. This could represent his birth or a time when he was young or young at heart. Bathing is often associated with baptism and this usually occurs at birth. Next he comments, ‘I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep’. I believe this could be a memory
Langston Hughes was born on February 1, 1902, in Joplin, Missouri. He was named after his father, James Hughes, but was known as Langston. He was the only child from his parents James and Carrie Hughes. His parents were not married for long because of an unhappy marriage. When they separated, Langston was left with his mother, who left him behind to move from city to city to find work. Langston ended up living with his 70 year-old grandmother in Lawrence, Kansas. He lived with her until he was 13, and then he moved back with his mother in Lincoln, Kansas after his grandmother died in 1915.
According to Becky Bradley in American Cultural History, Langston Hughes was born February 1, 1902 in Joplin, Missouri. Growing up, he dealt with some hard times. His parents divorced when he was little and he grew up with neither of his parents. Hughes was raised by his grandmother since his father moved to Mexico after their divorce and his mother moved to Illinois. It was when Hughes was thirteen that he moved out to Lincoln, Illinois to be reunited with his mother. This is where Hughes began writing poetry. However, the family moved again and finally settled in Cleveland, Ohio (Bradley, pars. 1-3).
Langston Hughes was an American poet, community worker, author, playwright, newspaper man, and inspiration from Joplin, Missouri. He was a protégé for many African Americans, despite the times he lived in.
As time has passed humanity still tends to separate each other based on our racial being rather than seeing each other as one human race. Langston Hughes’s, “A New Song,” published in 1938 introduces the idea of a new vision of social relations in American society. Hughes’s original version of this poem written in 1933, does not encompass his growing anger on this subject that is dwelled upon in his published version. However, with Hughes’s powerful tone and word choice throughout his 1938 rendition, his reader is able to understand his urge to transform America into an interracial culture. (Central Idea) His poem voices the importance of transforming society into a multiethnic unity and working-class established through cultural ties between whites and blacks. (Thesis) Hughes voices this crucial need to change through his emphasis on African American’s past struggles as opposed to the new dream, his militant tone, and through expressing the role that the establishment of cultural ties plays in society.
Langston Hughes is an extremely successful and well known black writer who emerged from the Harlem Renaissance (“Langston Hughes” 792). He is recognized for his poetry and like many other writers from the Harlem Renaissance, lived most of his life outside of Harlem (“Langston Hughes” 792). His personal experiences and opinions inspire his writing intricately. Unlike other writers of his time, Hughes expresses his discontent with black oppression and focuses on the hardships of his people. Hughes’ heartfelt concern for his people’s struggle evokes the reader’s emotion. His appreciation for black music and culture is evident in his work as well. Langston Hughes is a complex poet whose profound works provide insight into all aspects of black