On first reading, Langston Hughes’ “Dreams” is a very short and simple poem. It can be read in a flash, there is no complexity and its meaning is very clear. It does not require any interpretation. Its theme is so direct and strongly emphasized that it can be stated in a single sentence. …
On closer analysis, the poem reveals depths of meaning which make it rich and particularly appealing to the reader. Langston Hughes skilfully uses structure, theme, vivid imagery and literary devices to enhance the effect of “Dreams.” The structure of the poem heightens the poem’s appeal. It consists of just a couple of complete sentences which are arranged in two short stanzas. Each stanza is in the form of four lines which are brief and to the point. This enables the reader to focus on the theme without any distraction. The focus remains completely on the importance of holding on to dreams. The poet uses simple vocabulary and the meaning of the poem is easy to grasp. There are no ambiguous words which puzzle the reader. This makes the tone of the poem very conversational. The everyday language generates an intimate tone and makes the reader particularly receptive to the poet’s voice. The reader feels that the poet is addressing him directly and immediately empathizes with the poet. The reader develops a sense of comradeship with the poet. The rhyming scheme is another aspect of the poem’s structure which holds the reader’s attention. The second and fourth lines of the two stanzas rhyme: “die” and “fly;” “go” and “snow.” The rhyme adds to the beauty of the poem’s sound and gives it a lyrical quality. The first and fourth lines are unrhymed and make an effective contrast which heightens the rhyme of the other lines. The absence of punctuation is another characteristic of the structure which heightens the effect of the poem. This makes the structure very stark and compelling. Each line flows into the next and contributes to the easy reading of the poem. The poem’s structure demonstrates strong repetition. There is repetition in structure and repetition in words. The two stanzas follow the same pattern. The structure of the first stanza is repeated in the second stanza: both stanzas begin with the poet’s urging to hold on to dreams and both go on to give the details of what would happen if this is not done. By repeating the words “Hold fast to dreams,” (Hughes, 1) in the second stanza, the poet emphasizes the importance of not letting go of one’s dreams and gives his warning an air of urgency. Again, the two stanzas show a repetition of structure in the lines “Life is a broken-winged bird” (3) and “Life is a barren field” (7). Here, the repetition is used for emphasis and the adverse consequences of losing one’s dreams is clearly stated. The theme of the poem is something which every reader can identify with. Dreams are a part of every individual’s life. The vast majority of humanity starts out with many goals and aspirations. As life goes on, obstacles and sorrows are met and many of these dreams remain mere fantasy or die. They cannot be translated into reality. There soon comes a time when hopelessness envelops the soul. There is a tendency to give up on dreams and accept that they are beyond reach. The poet speaks to the many readers whose dreams are yet to be realized. By urging them to “Hold fast to dreams,” the poet implies that dreams can easily slip away unless they are tightly held on to. It is comforting to know that everyone finds it difficult to keep a grip on their dreams. The vivid imagery of the poem captures the imagination of the reader. The poem makes the reader actually visualize the tragic consequences of letting go of ...
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Perseverance is prominent subject matter in the three poems. For the poem The Negro mother, the character describes her days in the “night”. These days are full of suffering, strife to stay alive, and the strife to preserve the coming generation even as it was subject to discrimination.
23). Hughes portrayed the coldness he experienced at the hands of his white peers for his being African-American and the racial oppression he witnessed all around him. Through his writings, Hughes supported the activist and radical racial movements and fought for the economic and political freedom of the black.
The title of the poem gives one the impression that the poem is going to be a message that is being passed on from a mother to her son. The title also indicates that the communication is mainly going to come from the mother and will be directed to the son with little or no response expected from the son.
The author of the essay casts light upon the most famous poems by Langston Hughes. For example, the poem “I, Too” represents a powerful statement of hope for equality. It is also stated that this short poem expresses the state of dark-skinned people in America and his belief that the situation will naturally improve due to the inherent wisdom of human nature.
Hughes had the ability to write about black without speaking of race and talk about poverty without mentioning class. He has at times been revered as an important American artist and again marginalized in the shadows of the other great writers of the period.
Over time, this discourse of spatial signing has evolved into a literary strategy of allusion to a diversity of symbolic and spiritual spaces in the figurative practice of black writers.
Allusions to the Old Testament iconography of place by which enslaved blacks identified themselves with the enslaved Israelites in Egypt and Babylon in the geography of their song reverberate distinctively in "The Negro Speaks of Rivers," the debut poem young Langston Hughes scribbled on an envelope as the train taking him to another summer in Mexico with his father crossed the Mississippi.
" the vernacular encompasses vigorous, dynamic processes of expression, past and present. It makes up a rich store house of material wherein the values, styles, and character types of black American life are reflected in language that is highly energized and often marvelously eloquent1."
What Langston sought and admire was the communal identity in Southern blacks. His work is the greatest evidence of the racial unity he experienced directly throughout his life and it was due to this experience that he served in strengthening the faith constructing an ideal America.
f how African-Americans lived during the 20’s up to the 60’s, and was credited for the growth and development of the Harlem Renaissance (Academy of American Poets). Using his own experiences and fusing these with concepts strongly-tied and significant to African-American
The assumption is clear in the poem by the use of the simile “broken-winged bird”. Secondly, life loses meaning and becomes boring without dreams, and this is evidenced in the simile “barren field frozen with snow”.
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