Review on collection of Langston Hughes poems

In my opinion, Langston Hughes’s collection of poems is very inspiring and creatively showcases the life of people of colour and what they went through. Hughes emphasizes the struggles coloured people went through and the work they had to do to survive as coloured people. For example, in his poem “Ruby Brown”, he shows the miserable life of a beautiful young woman who’s dreams and goals were crushed and taken because she was coloured. As a coloured person with limited work opportunity, she had to make a living through a job that was frowned upon, causing her to throw away her self respect. Through this poem and many more in his collection, Hughes  shows how coloured people were downgraded because of the colour of their skin, how they  lived their lives with no freedom or justice, giving away their self-worth to earn a living. He emphasized the lives of women, mothers, children, and men who worked so hard for their generations to come. Hughes writes his poetry from different perspectives and this helped me as a reader understand the situation people of colour faced and the struggles they encountered. The imagery and descriptions used also had a tremendous effect on the poems and made them unique and very expressive. The different perspectives he used helped me as a reader understand the situation being described.

Reading Hughes’ collection really opened my eyes to the deeper struggles black people faced living in a world that excluded them from society, a world that treated them as if they were not human. I realized that these people felt like their lives were based on simple dreams that were unreal. The poem “Montage of a Dream Deferred” really opened up my eyes to the different dreams, goals, and wants that all these different black Americans desire. The fact that people assumed that they only wanted money and didn’t have dreams just showed how people judged and looked down upon black people. 

Not only did Hughes emphasize this, but he also had a very strong sense of racial pride which is demonstrated in his poems. Racial pride in Hughes’s poetry and jazz music are inextricably linked. In fact, he invented the phrase “jazz poetry” to describe a type of poetry in which the poem’s rhythm mimics the sounds of jazz music when spoken aloud. Racial pride was shown through being hopeful and expressing the black American culture. 

Overall his poems appealed to me because they supported equality, opposed racism and injustice, and celebrated African American culture, comedy, and spirituality, among many other aspects. He also talks about experiences being black and living in America, as well as universal themes of identity and belonging in the modern world. I think that all of his poems can appeal to anyone of any race, showing that no matter what, whether you are black, purple, or yellow, it should not impact how you live your life because, in the end, we are all humans. 


7 thoughts on “Review on collection of Langston Hughes poems”

  1. Nice job, Amira! Your personal response is well written and I agreed that it opened eyes to the deeper struggles black people face. Langston takes a topic of concern and writes it in a way that completely makes you see the deeper meaning.

  2. Hi Amira, I also agree with your point that his Imagery really does makes a big effect on how his poems play out. Because of imagery, it really makes his poems all the more descriptive and engaging too!

  3. Go Amira! You basically said everything I was thinking and it is very well written so good job. 🙂

  4. Great job Amira! I liked how you used the word creatively to describe his way of writing. I also agree with how he uses different perspectives to makes us understand, this way made it easier and more emotional. I really like your points. ❤️

  5. I think your PR is pretty well structure and talks about the essential things in his writing. I Especailly liked your use of examples and how you talked about how they made you feel.

  6. Nice work here, Amira! Your PR did a good job explaining why exactly these poems spoke to you, and it’s nice to see people analyzing why Hughes’ poetry works rather than how it works, especially in terms of emotional resonance.

  7. Amira, I agree with you that imagery is very powerful in Hughes’ poems. Specifically, I think the imagery in Harlem Sweeties is particularly important. Good, well thought out response.

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