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Langston Hughes Poetry

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Langston Hughes was an American poet and innovator of the art form of jazz poetry. I will analyze and give some insight into the meaning of his poets for the point known as the Harlem Renaissance. “The Nergo Speaks of the River” Speaking for the people of Africa. The “I” of this poem links people of African descent to an ancient and life-giving force, the rivers. By asserting that he has “known rivers ancient as the world,” the writer states the people of African descent, have an understanding of elemental forces in nature that precede civilization. The repetition of “rivers” and “human” lends to emphasize wisdom. The river is seen as a natural force outside himself that support life. He compares the human body to earth by comparing rivers to “human blood in human veins.” Line 4 personalizes that comparison as the speaker compares the depth of his soul to the depth of rivers. The speaker moves from historically and symbolically associating himself and his people with rivers to metaphorically imagining rivers as part of his blood and soul. Rather than one human relationship to river is intertwine, as he goes on to show the close 2 relationship.

The poem closes with the phrases that opened it. The speaker’s language completes a cycle that mirrors the river’s eternal cycling of waters around the earth and the African race’s continuing role in human history. The speaker of Langston Hughes’s “The Weary Blues” describes an evening of listening to a blues musician in Harlem. “With its diction, its repetition of lines and its inclusion of blues lyrics, the poem evokes the mournful tone and tempo of blues music. The reader is given an appreciation of the state of mind of the blues musician in the poem.” (Berry Faith) The poem begins with a speaker telling someone about a piano player he heard a couple nights ago. This musician was playing a slow blues song with all his body and soul. The speaker starts to really get into the sad music. Starting at line 19, we get the first verse to the song. This musician is singing about how, even though he’s miserable, he’s going to put his worries aside. The second verse is about his feeling that nothing can cure his blues, and he wishes he was dead. The musician plays on late into the night; and when he finally goes to bed, he goes sound to sleep. “I, too, ” is like the song of America, where every have a chance to be great and at the table. In the beginning of the poem he goes on to note that he is “the 3 darker brother”, referring to his skin color.

The speaker makes reference to the fact that he is sent “to eat in the kitchen, when company comes.” The oppression doesn’t stop him from growing stronger because one day he know he will be able to eat at the table with company. Then the speaker dream of a future in which he is no longer sent to the kitchen, in which no one would dare to call him unequal. “Mother to Son” empowers not only the son, but also the reader with precious words of wisdom. Through the skillful use of literary devices used by Hughes manages to muster up the image of a mother lovingly, talking to her son about life. One may ask, “so where is the father”.” Possibly, this is one of the many struggles that the “son” in this poem must face when the mother is compelled to offer her sage advice. “The advice of the poem is determination and courage, in particular when confronting the uphill battle of life.

Written from the mother’s point of view and is in the form of advice. In a southern dialect, this middle-aged women battered by life’s struggles, with no formal education, but plenty of life experiences, gives direction to her son.” (Charles Noe) The moving poem “Mother to Son” empowers not only the son, but also the reader with precious words of wisdom. Through the skillful use of literary, Hughes manages to muster up the image of a mother lovingly, yet firmly, talking to her Chapman 4 son about life. The simple advice is, in order to ove come the hurtles of life, a person must possess courage and determination. “Dream Variations” was written in the Harlem Renaissance. The speaker wants to dance in sunlight and rest under a tree at night. The white day is when he is working for the caucasians during the day time. The Africans in America was enslaved by the white man for generations that is why the speaker is using the white day, that is the time of day that the white man express his power. The speaker felt at night the he was more powerful and free because it was “Dark like Me.” In Conclusion the five poems that I analyze in this paper are some of the best example of jazz poetry write by Laughton Hughes one of the innovators of American poetry, during the Harlem Renaissance. He made a great literary impact and has influence how poetry is written today.

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