Analysis Of The Negro Speaks Of River By Langston Hughes

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The Negro Speaks of River. That was one of the poems that stood out to me as the best out of all of them, which was written by Langston Hughes. He wrote this piece while his was a senior in high school, he went on to write many other poems which I will discuss such as: The Negro, My People, and Mother to Son, Song for a Dark Girl, Prayer, Luck, Theme for English B, Harlem [Dream Deferred], Homecoming and Compare. What I find all these poems so fascinating was that they all relate to one person: the author Langston Hughes. When reading Mother to Son, it was interesting to see that it felt more of a story about a conversation the author might have had with his mother when he was young. The beginning starts off with the mother, I presume…show more content…
It was called, My People. It was about the middle class people that Hughes grew up with, some critics and his companions wanted him to write about the best and brightest of African Americans, but he wanted to talk about the working class in his own perspective. This story was about the men and women and children he grew up seeing as a child in Harlem, loaders of ships, nurses of babies, servants, hairdressers, elevator-boys, etc. The core idea of this short poem, was that the speaker was saying the night and his people are beautiful. Another great short poem that Langston Hughes wrote was called, The Negro Speaks of Rivers. The speaker claims that he has known rivers as ancient as the world, older than blood in our veins. Hearing the muddy Mississippi sing when Abraham Lincoln traveled to New Orleans. He also talks about, “bathing in the Euphrates when dawns were young”, and building a hut near the Congo and it lulled him to sleep. This was actually Langston Hughes’s first poem he wrote. At the age of seventeen. I think that by reading this short poem, Hughes is linking himself to his ancestors, by putting them back in historical, religious and cultural sites. One particular part that stood out for me was the rivers; he starts off with the Euphrates, which I later found out that historians and archaeologists often label as the birthplace of…show more content…
Though, that is actually his last name; he was born as James Mercer Langston Hughes in Joplin, Missouri. As a child, his parents were divorced, and his father moved away. Around the age of thirteen, he moved to Lincoln, Illinois, with his mother and her new husband before relocating in Cleveland, Ohio. He started writing poetry in high school back when he lived in Lincoln, he attended Lincoln High school. During his time at Columbia University in New York City, he worked at odd jobs such as an assistant cook, launderer, and a busboy. Working at these jobs, he claimed that Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Carl Sandburg, and Walt Whitman as his influences to writing. Langston Hughes was known for writing portrayals of black life in America during the nineteen twenties and sixties. Sort of like the poems I have read for this paper that resemble a lot of an African American living in Harlem. I think his personal experience and the common experience in black America were not so different. He wanted to tell stories about his people in their actual culture, including their suffering and their love of music, laughter, and the language itself. I have never read such poems from a great poet who bases his material on the world around him. He spread his message clearly throughout America in a funny way to so many people that no other American poet has done. Most poets would just address the problem of
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