The Negro Speaks Of River By Langston Hughes Essay

The Negro Speaks Of River By Langston Hughes Essay

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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 it’s his mother, telling the author, and the reader about how life has been very difficult for her – it has not been a “crystal stair” as she describes it. As she goes deeper into the poem, she uses metaphors to describe how hard it was for her; for example: tacks in her hair, splinters, a floor with no carpet, unlit corners. She basically tells her son to never give up, because she never did. The Mother talks about how all the time she’s been climbing up a staircase. Explaining the difficulties of going on an uphill journey while struggling, eventually will come out on top. I think this short poem was similar to his other poem, The Negro Speaks of River, because in that poem he was tasked to write a page and come from himself and be true. He wrote about how daunting it was to enter into an elite school, and how he was the only colored person in all of this classes. At the time of the Jim Crow era, it was not easy for African Americans to gain entrance to this prestigious schools compared...


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...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 society without including themselves or writing in a view of one’s perspective. I feel that Langston Hughes put himself in the writing and wanted to show the reader what it was really like in America for a black person, it sure showed me, having born five to seven decades after all of this has happened. Later in life, Langston Hughes was diagnosed with prostate cancer and died on May 22, 1967, in New York City. He was given a landmark in Harlem and a street renamed after him “Langston Hughes Place”.

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