Langston Hughes Personal Response

I don’t usually like poems, I do not find them interesting, I believe it is because I don’t understand them. These past few weeks reading about Langston Hughes poetry, analyzing these poems, and raising different type of questions have been stressful for me because I do not understand poetry, but when I get to class and the poems are explained I understand why some people would describe poetry as art,  with just a few words a lot is being said, you just need to understand the background of the story, which is what I don’t like because there are a lot of different references which I don’t understand, but when I do I found them really interesting.

Langston Hughes was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright and columnist, best known as one of the leaders of the cultural movement that was the Harlem Renaissance. He has a great impact in the movement of racial discrimination, he dreams with social equality, he uses his voice to achieve this, although high class society tend to be ignorant about people who they think are beneath them. A poem in which Hughes shows his dream is “Dream of Freedom” (l.19) “There are those who claim this dream for their alone. A sin for which we know they must atone. (ll. 5-8) This passage reveals that people with freedom keep it to themselves so they have more power, Hughes consider this to be a sin which they should compensate for. A poem in which he includes equality in is “Theme for English B” (l.14). In this poem he mentions how he is different because of his color but it does not change his preferences, “I like to work, read, learn and understand life” (ll. 22) and “I guess being colored doesn’t make me not like the same things other folks like who are other races” (ll. 25-26)  This  passage brings up questions about race, identity and belonging. How does Hughes’ feel about his life, all he has gone through, his experiences have brought him to understand how life works when you’re an african american.

I have learned that poetry can be enjoyable if you learn to analyze it, there are a lot of different areas to discover in what seems a simple passage. I like how Hughes’ poems make a vivid imagery about what african americans went through, the struggles they had to pass through only because they were in a lower class. Today we are still fighting for equality, and strong voices like Langston Hughes help people be more aware about the importance of equality. I am glad each day we are growing as a community and achieving a greater future

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