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The Weary Blues and The Negro Speakers of Rivers by Langston Hughes - Essay Example

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[Your full name] June 7, 2012 "The Weary Blues" Langston Hughes has tried to convey the state of a blues musician while he is playing at his piano, in a mournful yet interesting way. The diction of the poem and the repetition of lines bring sadness with itself, as we come to know about the tempo of the blues music and the musician…
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The Weary Blues and The Negro Speakers of Rivers by Langston Hughes
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The Weary Blues and The Negro Speakers of Rivers by Langston Hughes

The narrator is occupied with the sadness of the notes and tones of the blues music. The narrator feels as if the piano is moaning (lines 10, 18), which shows the extent of sadness that is being depicted from the musician’s state of mind and his selection of the blues song. The song is about how the musician is going to survive and be happy instead of all the miseries, sadness, and worries he possesses, like when he sings, “I's gwine to quit ma frownin'/ And put ma troubles on the shelf” (lines 21-22). But all of a sudden, he again becomes depressed, and says that his anguish is going to be so stressful that he wishes he could die, like he says, “I got the Weary Blues/ And I can't be satisfied./ Got the Weary Blues/ And can't be satisfied--/ I ain't happy no mo'/ And I wish that I had died” (lines 25-30). This change of mood tells that he is not being very effective in putting off his worries, despite all his efforts to stay happy. He keeps on playing till late night; and, when he goes to bed, he dreams of himself as a rock with no emotions or a dead man. The musician is a Negro in the poem. And he is sad. This refers to the poet himself, because Hughes was an African-American, and was also a victim of racism. Hence, the poem talks about his own gloom and shattered state of mind, because he has to go through emotional turmoil due to his race. “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” Langston Hughes, being an African-American poet, suffered from racial discrimination in the early twentieth century in America. However, he tried to survive the currents of racism, and struggled to spread the message of love and equality through his poetry. This poem speaks about the unity of people through the imagery of river. The poem starts with the poet mentioning that he has known rivers since ages. Starting lines, “I've known rivers/ I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins”, hold the imagery of river, which the poet uses to show the connection of all human life on earth. He mentions Euphrates, Congo, Nile, and Mississippi, which shows that he is talking about life from the beginning of civilization till the American Civil War. Euphrates shows the origin of civilization “when the dawns were young”. He claims to be united with the whites living near the Congo, when he says that he built his hut “near the Congo”. The white race also served as slaves of the Egyptians who built the pyramids, and the poet mentions his looking at the Nile and raising the pyramids, trying to associate himself with the whites. His mentioning of Mississippi and Abe Lincoln going down the New Orleans reminds us the setting free of the slaves, with the Mississippi river symbolizing human blood belonging to all races. The poet repeats that, “My soul has grown deep like the rivers”, which means that he has identified his true identity, because one who becomes familiar with his soul recognizes who he actually is. Since, the river symbolizes human life in this poem, and its flow symbolizes the flow of blood in the veins of all humans, this refers to the fact that all humans are linked to each other, since all of them have the same blood in their veins, because they have the same father, Adam, and the same mother, Eve. Hence, the poet has tried to link himself with all races on the ... Read More
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