Langston Hughes PR

Langston Hughes, an African American poet, is one of the developers of Jazz poetry. He is the leader of the Harlem Renaissance and has a significant impact on the revival of African American culture and art including literature and music. He is influenced by Whitman’s four aspects, free verse, optimism, the celebration of justice and equality, and catalogs. These four qualities are revealed in his poetries. I used to expect that poetries should have a fixed rhyme scheme, a rhythm, and fixed sentence lengths, yet Langston Hughes’ poems changed my stereotype of poetries. Free verse can be seen in most of his poems, I, Too is a notable example of free verse. There is neither rhyme schemes nor fixed lines length. The poem sounds like breaking sentences apart into different lines. Free verse also can be seen in the poem — As I Grew Older. Neither rhyme scheme nor fixed line length can be found in this poem.

Langston Hughes’ poem celebrates justice and equality and is surrounded by the theme — optimism. The poem Negro shows the quality of advocating justice and equality. In the poem, African Americans are not treated equally to white people. He mentions that the African Americans work hard for people by making an example — “Under my hands the pyramid arose.” (line 8), yet they are not praised enough as they should be. I feel empathy for African Americans at that time as they are discriminated against by white people despite the hard work they have completed. As an Asian in Canada, a North American country, I feel lucky that racism and discrimination have not happened to me.

I was impressed by the rhythm created in the poem The Weary Blues which deeply caught my attention. There is a “syncopated tune” throughout the poem which is mentioned in line 1. It makes me feel like it is a trailer for the poem, just like a trailer of a movie about what will happen next, which intrigues me to continue reading the poem. The rhyme scheme of The Weary Blues also allows me to feel the rhythm. The feeling and emotions throughout the poem are more relaxing due to the significant jazz rhythm. The diction is simple which is easy to interpret. This is my favorite out of all the selected poems because of the rhythm and the calm, relaxing feeling carried out from it.

To sum up, Langston Hughes’ poems amazed me by introducing a new impression on poems to me. I also admire his passion and optimism regarding inequality and racism. He reminds me to stay positive, optimistic, and fearless against inequality and raise awareness to solve social issues.