Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University Langston Hughes was first recognized as an important literary figure during the s, a period known as the "Harlem Renaissance" because of the number of emerging black writers. It is, however, as an individual poet, not as a member of a new and interesting literary group, or as a spokesman for a race that Langston Hughes must stand or fall. In his autobiographical The Big Sea, Hughes commented: The Negro critics and many of the intellectuals were very sensitive about their race in books.
Life is a barren field Frozen with snow. To fling my arms wide In some place of the sun, To whirl and to dance Till the white day is done. Then rest at cool evening Beneath a tall tree While night comes on gently, Dark like me— To fling my arms wide In the face of the sun, Dance!
Till the quick day is done. Rest at pale evening. Night coming tenderly Black like me. This poem is much more characteristic of how Hughes was able to use image, repetition, and his almost hypnotic cadence and rhyme to marry political and social content to the structures and form of poetry.
He also recognized W. Dubois as a master of prose, and the long ignored stories and novels of Charles Chesnutt, which have recently gained more critical attention for both their structural complexity and political content.
When I was home de Sunshine seemed like gold. Down on Lenox Avenue the other night By the pale dull pallor of an old gas light He did a lazy sway. He did a lazy sway.
With his ebony hands on each ivory key He made that poor piano moan with melody. Swaying to and fro on his rickety stool He played that sad raggy tune like a musical fool. The stars went out and so did the moon. The singer stopped playing and went to bed While the Weary Blues echoed through his head.
I am the red man driven from the land, I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek— And finding only the same old stupid plan Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak. I am the young man, full of strength and hope, Tangled in that ancient endless chain Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
James Mercer Langston Hughes (February 1, May 22, ) was an American poet and a storywriter. He was born in Joplin, Missouri. He was born in Joplin, Missouri. He started writing poetry when he started living with his mother around the age of 10 in Ohio. Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri, the second child of school teacher Carrie (Caroline) Mercer Langston and James Nathaniel Hughes (–). Langston Hughes grew up in a series of Midwestern small towns. Hughes' father left his family soon Education: Lincoln University of Pennsylvania. For Hughes, who wrote honestly about the world into which he was born, it was impossible to turn away from the subject of race, which permeated every aspect of his life, writing, public reception and reputation.
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil. I am the worker sold to the machine. I am the Negro, servant to you all. I am the people, humble, hungry, mean— Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers! I am the man who never got ahead, The poorest worker bartered through the years. The opening lines, which long for the past:A Reading Guide to Langston Hughes - An Introduction to Langston Hughes. The Academy of American Poets is the largest membership-based nonprofit organization fostering an appreciation for contemporary poetry and supporting American poets.
Langston Hughes: A Study of the Short Fiction. New York: Twayne, New York: Twayne, Includes critical analyses of Hughes’s short fiction; excerpts from his essays and speeches on his life, racial issues, and writings; and remarks from critics on his works.
James Mercer Langston Hughes (February 1, May 22, ) was an American poet and a storywriter. He was born in Joplin, Missouri. He was born in Joplin, Missouri. He started writing poetry when he started living with his mother around the age of 10 in Ohio.
Life and Work of Langston Hughes - Life and Work of Langston Hughes Early Years James Mercer Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri, on February 1, , to James Nathaniel Hughes, a lawyer and businessman, and Carrie Mercer (Langston) .
Courses and large print books Selected Letters an introduction to the life of james langston hughes of Langston Hughes traces the writers career from the Harlem Renaissance in the s through the arrival into the American an introduction to the life of james langston hughes Best poems and quotes from famous poets Read romantic love poems.
Langston Hughes, a central poet of the Harlem renaissance, was significantly influenced by the sounds and traditions of the blues and jazz. He presented “Jazz and Communication” at a panel led by Marshall Stearns at the Newport Casino Theater during the Newport Jazz Festival.