January 11 2021
1939 Sooke Rd, Victoria, BC V9B 1W2
Colwood, British Columbia
Dear Mr. Langston Hughes,
I am writing this letter to tell you how much I enjoy your poetry. I especially found “Ruby Brown” and “Negro” to be interesting and thought provoking.
My questions for you would be; How do you start your poems and what influences your ideas? What poet inspires you the most. What is your idea of blues poems? What blues structure do you prefer? What emotions do you think they should create? What is your favorite form of poem? I noticed you use multiple structures, topics, and moods throughout your works.
I found it easy to experience the mood you may have been feeling when you wrote “Ruby Brown”. The emotion I encountered was joy and sadness.
“She was young and beautiful
And golden like the sunshine
That warmed her body.
And because she was colored
Mayville had no place to offer her,
Nor fuel for the clean flame of joy
That tried to burn within her soul
However with “Negro”, I felt emotions that included sadness, frustration and empathy. In the poem, you talk about black people’s contributions from the continent of Africa, to the country of America. Unless you take history, readers may not know what you mean by:
“The Belgians cut off my hands in the Congo.
They lynch me still in Mississippi.”
Did you initially question whether the vast majority of people would know what this means? What mood were you experiencing while writing this poem, and how do you view the world? Should more art like your poetry be included to promote different perspectives to make a better society?
I enjoyed your works and their creative content. They have benefitted my education about the arts and my heritage.
Thanks, and best wishes,