“WHEN I GET TO BE A COMPOSER, I’m gonna write me some music . . . .” The iconic poet extraordinaire, Langston Hughes personally hand-picked the poems in the SELECTED POEMS LANGSTON HUGHES and gives us insight to some of the subjects that he cared deeply about.
WHAT DOES POETRY MEAN TO YOU? Poems are unique – much like finger-prints . . . No two people read or experience the poems in the same way. Poetry is to be appreciated like a great glass of wine . . . Shaken not stirred and aged to perfection.
HAVE YOU EVER READ the same poem over and over again and it touches that you the same way? Probably not, because at the time you read the poem you were at a different stage in your life and the experiences you had since the last time you read the poem would influence your understanding and/or appreciation of it.
LANGSTON HUGHES SPEAKS a lot about love and the everyday experiences outside his front window. His SELECTED POEMS reflected the conditions of the time in the 1950s (and earlier), the racism, street life, despair, hopelessness, death, etc. He used his voice to speak for those whose voice was silenced, and those who felt that they didn’t have the strength or right to have their voice heard.
WHAT IS VERY INTERESTING and profound is that his poems are relevent today. Black people are still finding themselves in less than optimal circumstances, still fighting to be heard, respected . . . recognized. Women are still finding themselves in less than optimal circumstances, still fighting to be heard . . . respected . . . recognized . . . loved. Men are still finding themselves, well you know . . . the more things change the more they stay the same.
THOUGHTS for your SOUL:
- **”He carries . . . His own strength… And his own laughter, his own today . . . And his own hereafter – This strong young sailor . . . Of the wide seas.”
- ***”Freedom is a strong seed . . . Planted in a great need. I live here, too . . . I want freedom just as you.”
Still Here (a BONDing over BOOKS pick)
I’ve been scarred and battered. My hopes the wind done scattered. Snow has friz me, sun has baked me. Looks like between ’em, they done tried to make me. Stop laughin’, stop lovin’, stop livin’ – But I don’t care! I’m still here!
“IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE that the poems included in SELECTED POEMS were chosen by Langston Hughes shortly before his death. He wanted to preserve from six of his published volumes, from the privately printed, limited edition, Dear Lovely Death, and from his previously unpublished work.”
LANGSTON HUGHES SPOKE to our humanity and wrote of our commonality, our pain, our joy, our hopes and our “. . . Dream within a dream, our dream deferred . . .” Poetry isn’t for everybody. Not every line rhymes, nor part of a rap song lyric. You don’t have to “get” it, you just have to “feel” it.
Let’s BOND over BOOKS rates SELECTED POEMS LANGSTON HUGHES as MELODICALLY MEANINGFUL (151-300 pgs) . . . just the right mixture of pages and content.
*Excerpt taken from “Daybreak in Alabama.” **Excerpt taken from “Young Sailor.” ***Excerpt taken from “Democracy.”