11 Most Famous Poems by Langston Hughes

Famous Poems by Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes

11 Most Famous Poems by Langston Hughes | Enjoy & Share with your Friends

Dreams - Poem by Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams

For if dreams die

Life is a broken-winged bird

That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams

For when dreams go

Life is a barren field

Frozen with snow.

 

 

As I Grew Older - Poem by Langston Hughes

It was a long time ago.

I have almost forgotten my dream.

But it was there then,

In front of me,

Bright like a sun—

My dream.

And then the wall rose,

Rose slowly,

Slowly,

Between me and my dream.

Rose until it touched the sky—

The wall.

Shadow.

I am black.

I lie down in the shadow.

No longer the light of my dream before me,

Above me.

Only the thick wall.

Only the shadow.

My hands!

My dark hands!

Break through the wall!

Find my dream!

Help me to shatter this darkness,

To smash this night,

To break this shadow

Into a thousand lights of sun,

Into a thousand whirling dreams

Of sun!

 

 

Mother To Son - Poem by Langston Hughes

Well, son, I'll tell you:

Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.

It's had tacks in it,

And splinters,

And boards torn up,

And places with no carpet on the floor—

Bare.

But all the time

I'se been a-climbin' on,

And reachin' landin's,

And turnin' corners,

And sometimes goin' in the dark

Where there ain't been no light.

So, boy, don't you turn back.

Don't you set down on the steps.

'Cause you finds it's kinder hard.

Don't you fall now—

For I'se still goin', honey,

I'se still climbin',

And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.

 

 

I, Too - Poem by Langston Hughes

I, too, sing America.

 

I am the darker brother.

They send me to eat in the kitchen

When company comes,

But I laugh,

And eat well,

And grow strong.

 

Tomorrow,

I'll be at the table

When company comes.

Nobody'll dare

Say to me,

"Eat in the kitchen,"

Then.

 

Besides,

They'll see how beautiful I am

And be ashamed--

 

I, too, am America.

 

 

April Rain Song - Poem by Langston Hughes

Let the rain kiss you

Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops

Let the rain sing you a lullaby

The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk

The rain makes running pools in the gutter

The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night

And I love the rain.

 

 

Cross - Poem by Langston Hughes

My old man's a white old man

And my old mother's black.

If ever I cursed my white old man

I take my curses back.

If ever I cursed my black old mother

And wished she were in hell,

I'm sorry for that evil wish

And now I wish her well

My old man died in a fine big house.

My ma died in a shack.

I wonder where I'm going to die,

Being neither white nor black?

 

 

Let America Be America Again - Poem by Langston Hughes

Let America be America again.

Let it be the dream it used to be.

Let it be the pioneer on the plain

Seeking a home where he himself is free.

 

(America never was America to me.)

 

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--

Let it be that great strong land of love

Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme

That any man be crushed by one above.

 

(It never was America to me.)

 

O, let my land be a land where Liberty

Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,

But opportunity is real, and life is free,

Equality is in the air we breathe.

 

(There's never been equality for me,

Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")

 

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?

And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

 

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,

I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.

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!

Of work the men! Of take the pay!

Of owning everything for one's own greed!

 

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.

 

Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream

In the Old World while still a serf of kings,

Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,

That even yet its mighty daring sings

In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned

That's made America the land it has become.

O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas

In search of what I meant to be my home--

For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore,

And Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea,

And torn from Black Africa's strand I came

To build a "homeland of the free."

 

The free?

 

Who said the free? Not me?

Surely not me? The millions on relief today?

The millions shot down when we strike?

The millions who have nothing for our pay?

For all the dreams we've dreamed

And all the songs we've sung

And all the hopes we've held

And all the flags we've hung,

The millions who have nothing for our pay--

Except the dream that's almost dead today.

 

O, let America be America again--

The land that never has been yet--

And yet must be--the land where every man is free.

The land that's mine--the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME--

Who made America,

Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,

Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,

Must bring back our mighty dream again.

 

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose--

The steel of freedom does not stain.

From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,

We must take back our land again,

America!

 

O, yes,

I say it plain,

America never was America to me,

And yet I swear this oath--

America will be!

 

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,

The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,

We, the people, must redeem

The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.

The mountains and the endless plain--

All, all the stretch of these great green states--

And make America again!

 

 

Democracy - Poem by Langston Hughes

Democracy will not come

Today, this year

Nor ever

Through compromise and fear.

 

I have as much right

As the other fellow has

To stand

On my two feet

And own the land.

 

I tire so of hearing people say,

Let things take their course.

Tomorrow is another day.

I do not need my freedom when I'm dead.

I cannot live on tomorrow's bread.

 

Freedom

Is a strong seed

Planted

In a great need.

 

I live here, too.

I want freedom

Just as you.

 

 

Dream Deferred - Poem by Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up

Like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore--

And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?

Or crust and sugar over--

like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags

like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

 

 

Life Is Fine - Poem by Langston Hughes

I went down to the river,

I set down on the bank.

I tried to think but couldn't,

So I jumped in and sank.

 

I came up once and hollered!

I came up twice and cried!

If that water hadn't a-been so cold

I might've sunk and died.

 

But it was Cold in that water! It was cold!

 

I took the elevator

Sixteen floors above the ground.

I thought about my baby

And thought I would jump down.

 

I stood there and I hollered!

I stood there and I cried!

If it hadn't a-been so high

I might've jumped and died.

 

But it was High up there! It was high!

 

So since I'm still here livin',

I guess I will live on.

I could've died for love--

But for livin' I was born

 

Though you may hear me holler,

And you may see me cry--

I'll be dogged, sweet baby,

If you gonna see me die.

 

Life is fine! Fine as wine! Life is fine!

 

 

Children's Rhymes - Poem by Langston Hughes

By what sends

the white kids

I ain't sent:

I know I can't

be President.

What don't bug

them white kids

sure bugs me:

We know everybody

ain't free.

 

Lies written down

for white folks

ain't for us a-tall:

Liberty And Justice--

Huh!--For All?

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