Personal Response to Langston Hughes

Throughout this unit, reading the selected poems written by Langston Hughes, I have grown to enjoy reading poetry and searching for patterns and messages embedded within the poems. Hughes takes a topic and writes it in a way that creates a deeper effect and meaning in the message he is trying to convey. Using metaphors, rhymes, and different poetic structures he accentuates the meaning of his poems clearly. 

Hughes raises awareness on many issues regarding racism, oppression and the everyday struggles that African American people have to endure. I was aware of the inequalities and oppression of African American people but Hughes’ poems opened up a whole new understanding for me. Through the perspectives of African American people themselves, the poems show emotion and sometimes even pain. It depicts images of unfairness and lack of respect towards African American people. The effect of this pain and image of inequality causes me to feel for them and it also broadens my knowledge and understanding of the topic Hughes is writing about. For example in The Negro Mother, Hughes describes a mother talking about her own personal experiences being a slave. When the mother says “I am the one labored as a slave, Beaten and mistreated for the work that I gave– children sold away from me, husband sold, too.” I felt sadness and sorrow towards her and couldn’t imagine going through what had happened to her. I also was not aware of how much slaves had to go through and survive, it was heartbreaking to read and even more heartbreaking to imagine a mother opening up and talking about it.

I enjoyed the rhyme schemes Hughes included in some of his poems. The effect of the rhymes was that it was so smooth and satisfying to read. The rhymes created momentum in the poetry and reading it was enjoyable. Another thing I particularly liked while reading the selected poems was that there was a distinguishable optimistic or pessimistic ending. I personally liked the ones with the optimistic endings and thought it was more eye opening when the ending left you open minded. For example an optimistic ending would be like from the poem Montage of a Dream Deferred, “I’d like to take up Bach. Montage of a dream deferred. Buddy, have you heard?” It showed a hopeful and positive ending which leads me to imagine a happy ending. 


9 thoughts on “Personal Response to Langston Hughes”

  1. Chantal, very good work. Although you strayed away from your opinion at times and went more into unrelated topics I was very impressed by how you could see the true meaning behind Hughes writing and so perfectly clear it up to me.

  2. Very well written. Other than being nice to read did the tone and rhythm give any other effect to you? 🙂

  3. Hello Chantal, I liked your point about Hughes raising awareness since I think it was very important for him. It certainly made a great impact back in the day and even now! I just wanted to know how do you feel about the poems in general? Since I think that you drifted off a little from your opinion while writing this. But, you still did a very good job!

  4. Chantal nice work! I really loved reading about your thoughts and my eyes opened up as well on the true hardships slaves and black people went through. You mentioned how an example of optimism used and I think this supported your point very effectively.

  5. Excellent Personal Response Chantal! I also noticed how Langston Hughes created deep meanings that were embedded in the poems. The optimistic part of the poems showed a hopeful and positive ending to me as well.

  6. Nicely done. It’s interesting to hear about how the writing style of the poetry affected your emotional response, and your points about their often optimistic tone are well expressed as well!

  7. Hi Chantal, I agree that rhyming definitely makes his work a lot more catchy and it really applies to a lot of poetry as well, there should be a sense of rhythm in poems so that it can be more interesting.

  8. Hi Chantal i like how you used examples to explain the emotions you felt and how that helped you understand the racism that was happening. I agree with you on your points of how he uses tragic situations to make you feel sorrow and sadness and empathy..

  9. Hi Chantal, it was nice to hear someone comment on the rhythm of the poetry and how that effects the reader. I agree that the rhythm gives momentum to the poem and I think it is key to good poetry.

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