Langston Hughes
The Negro Mother by Langston Hughes

The Negro Mother by Langston Hughes

Children, I come back today To tell you a story of the long dark way That I had to climb, that I had to know In order that the race might live and grow. Look at my face - dark as ...

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Mother To Son by Langston Hughes

Mother To Son 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 ...

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As I Grew Older by Langston Hughes

As I Grew Older 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 ...

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Cross by Langston Hughes

Cross by Langston Hughes

My old man's a white old manAnd my old mother's black.If ever I cursed my white old manI take my curses back.If ever I cursed my black old motherAnd wished she were in hell,I'm ...

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April Rain Song by Langston Hughes

April Rain Song by Langston Hughes

Let the rain kiss youLet the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid dropsLet the rain sing you a lullabyThe rain makes still pools on the sidewalkThe rain makes running pools ...

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Suicide’s Note by Langston Hughes

Suicide’s Note by Langston Hughes

The calm, Cool face of the riverAsked me for a kiss.

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Life Is Fine by Langston Hughes

Life Is Fine 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 ...

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I, Too by Langston Hughes

I, Too by Langston Hughes

I, too, sing America.I am the darker brother.They send me to eat in the kitchenWhen company comes,But I laugh,And eat well,And grow strong.Tomorrow,I'll be at the tableWhen ...

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Let America Be America Again by Langston Hughes

Let America Be America Again by Langston Hughes

Let America be America again.Let it be the dream it used to be.Let it be the pioneer on the plainSeeking a home where he himself is free.(America never was America to me.)Let ...

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Daybreak In Alabama by Langston Hughes

Daybreak In Alabama by Langston Hughes

When I get to be a composerI'm gonna write me some music aboutDaybreak in AlabamaAnd I'm gonna put the purtiest songs in itRising out of the ground like a swamp mistAnd falling ...

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Democracy by Langston Hughes

Democracy by Langston Hughes

Democracy will not comeToday, this yearNor everThrough compromise and fear.I have as much right As the other fellow hasTo standOn my two feet And own the land.I tire so of hearing ...

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Bad Morning by Langston Hughes

Bad Morning by Langston Hughes

Here I sitWith my shoes mismated.Lawdy-mercy!I's frustrated!

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Dream Deferred by Langston Hughes

Dream Deferred by Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?Does it dry upLike 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 ...

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The Blues by Langston Hughes

The Blues by Langston Hughes

When the shoe strings breakOn both your shoesAnd you're in a hurry-That's the blues.When you go to buy a candy barAnd you've lost the dime you had-Slipped through a hole in your ...

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Cultural Exchange by Langston Hughes

Cultural Exchange by Langston Hughes

In the Quarter of the NegroesWhere the doors are doors of paperDust of dingy atomsBlows a scratchy sound.Amorphous jack-o'-Lanterns caperAnd the wind won't wait for midnightFor ...

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Juke Box Love Song by Langston Hughes

Juke Box Love Song by Langston Hughes

I could take the Harlem nightand wrap around you,Take the neon lights and make a crown,Take the Lenox Avenue busses,Taxis, subways,And for your love song tone their rumble ...

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Madam And The Rent Man by Langston Hughes

Madam And The Rent Man by Langston Hughes

The rent man knocked. He said, Howdy-do? I said, WhatCan I do for you? He said, You knowYour rent is due. I said, Listen, Before I'd payI'd go to Hades And rot away! The sink is ...

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Justice by Langston Hughes

Justice by Langston Hughes

That Justice is a blind goddessIs a thing to which we black are wise:Her bandage hides two festering soresThat once perhaps were eyes.

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Theme For English B by Langston Hughes

Theme For English B by Langston Hughes

The instructor said,Go home and writea page tonight.And let that page come out of you--Then, it will be true.I wonder if it's that simple?I am twenty-two, colored, born in ...

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50-50 by Langston Hughes

50-50 by Langston Hughes

I’m all alone in this world, she said, Ain’t got nobody to share my bed, Ain’t got nobody to hold my hand— The truth of the matter’s I ain’t got no man. Big Boy opened his mouth ...

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Ennui by Langston Hughes

Ennui by Langston Hughes

It's such aBoreBeing alwaysPoor.

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The Negro Speaks Of Rivers by Langston Hughes

The Negro Speaks Of Rivers by Langston Hughes

I've known rivers:I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins.My soul has grown deep like the rivers.I bathed in the Euphrates ...

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To Artina by Langston Hughes

To Artina by Langston Hughes

I will take you heart.I will take your soul out of your bodyAs though I were God.I will not be satisfiedWith the touch of your handNor the sweet of your lips alone.I will take ...

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The Dream Keeper by Langston Hughes

The Dream Keeper by Langston Hughes

Bring me all of your dreams,You dreamer,Bring me all yourHeart melodiesThat I may wrap themIn a blue cloud-clothAway from the too-rough fingersOf the world.

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The Weary Blues by Langston Hughes

The Weary Blues by Langston Hughes

Droning a drowsy syncopated tune, Rocking back and forth to a mellow croon, I heard a Negro play. Down on Lenox Avenue the other night By the pale dull pallor of an old gas light ...

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Children’s Rhymes by Langston Hughes

Children’s Rhymes by Langston Hughes

By what sendsthe white kidsI ain't sent:I know I can'tbe President.What don't bugthem white kidssure bugs me:We know everybodyain't free.Lies written downfor white folksain't for ...

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Dinner Guest: Me by Langston Hughes

Dinner Guest: Me by Langston Hughes

I know I amThe Negro ProblemBeing wined and dined,Answering the usual questionsThat come to white mindWhich seeks demurelyTo Probe in polite wayThe why and wherewithalOf darkness ...

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My People by Langston Hughes

My People by Langston Hughes

The night is beautiful,So the faces of my people.The stars are beautiful,So the eyes of my people.Beautiful, also, is the sun.Beautiful, also, are the souls of my people.

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Freedom’s Plow by Langston Hughes

Freedom’s Plow by Langston Hughes

When a man starts out with nothing,When a man starts out with his handsEmpty, but clean,When a man starts to build a world,He starts first with himselfAnd the faith that is in his ...

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Dream Variations by Langston Hughes

Dream Variations by Langston Hughes

To fling my arms wideIn some place of the sun,To whirl and to danceTill the white day is done.Then rest at cool eveningBeneath a tall treeWhile night comes on gently,Dark like ...

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Problems by Langston Hughes

Problems by Langston Hughes

2 and 2 are 4.4 and 4 are 8.But what would happenIf the last 4 was late?And how would it beIf one 2 was me?Or if the first 4 was youDivided by 2?

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Negro Speaks Of Rivers by Langston Hughes

Negro Speaks Of Rivers by Langston Hughes

I've known rivers:I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veinsMy soul has grown deep like the rivers.I bathed in the ...

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Jazzonia by Langston Hughes

Jazzonia by Langston Hughes

Oh, silver tree! Oh, shining rivers of the soul! In a Harlem cabaret Six long-headed jazzers play. A dancing girl whose eyes are bold Lifts high a dress of silken gold. Oh, ...

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Walkers With The Dawn by Langston Hughes

Walkers With The Dawn by Langston Hughes

Being walkers with the dawn and morning,Walkers with the sun and morning,We are not afraid of night,Nor days of gloom,Nor darkness--Being walkers with the sun and morning.

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Quiet Girl by Langston Hughes

Quiet Girl by Langston Hughes

I would liken youTo a night without starsWere it not for your eyes.I would liken youTo a sleep without dreamsWere it not for your songs.

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Advertisement For The Waldorf-Astoria by Langston Hughes

Advertisement For The Waldorf-Astoria by Langston Hughes

Fine living . . . a la carte?Come to the Waldorf-Astoria!LISTEN HUNGRY ONES!Look! See what Vanity Fair says about thenew Waldorf-Astoria:"All the luxuries of private home. . . ...

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In Time Of Silver Rain by Langston Hughes

In Time Of Silver Rain by Langston Hughes

In time of silver rainThe earth puts forth new life again,Green grasses growAnd flowers lift their heads,And over all the plainThe wonder spreadsOf Life,Of Life,Of life!In time of ...

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Still Here by Langston Hughes

Still Here by Langston Hughes

been scarred and battered.My hopes the wind done scattered.Snow has friz me,Sun has baked me,Looks like between 'em they doneTried to make meStop laughin', stop lovin', stop ...

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Will V-Day Be Me-Day Too? by Langston Hughes

Will V-Day Be Me-Day Too? by Langston Hughes

Over There,World War II. Dear Fellow Americans,I write this letterHoping times will be betterWhen this warIs through.I'm a Tan-skinned YankDriving a tank.I ask, WILL V-DAYBE ...

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Acceptance by Langston Hughes

Acceptance by Langston Hughes

God in His infinite wisdomDid not make me very wise-So when my actions are stupidThey hardly take God by surprise

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Ardella by Langston Hughes

Ardella by Langston Hughes

I would liken youTo a night without starsWere it not for your eyes.I would liken youTo a sleep without dreamsWere it not for your songs.

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Merry-Go-Round by Langston Hughes

Merry-Go-Round by Langston Hughes

Where is the Jim Crow section On this merry-go-round, Mister, cause I want to ride?Down South where I come from White and colored Can't sit side by side. Down South on the train ...

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Enemy by Langston Hughes

Enemy by Langston Hughes

It would be niceIn any case,To someday meet youFace to faceWalking downThe road to hell...As I come upFeeling swell.

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Night Funeral In Harlem by Langston Hughes

Night Funeral In Harlem by Langston Hughes

Night funeralIn Harlem:Where did they getThem two fine cars?Insurance man, he did not pay--His insurance lapsed the other day--Yet they got a satin boxfor his head to lay.Night ...

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Minstrel Man by Langston Hughes

Minstrel Man by Langston Hughes

Because my mouthIs wide with laughterAnd my throatIs deep with song, You do not think I suffer afterI have held my painSo long?Because my mouth Is wide with laughter, You do not ...

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I Dream A World by Langston Hughes

I Dream A World by Langston Hughes

I dream a world where manNo other man will scorn,Where love will bless the earthAnd peace its paths adornI dream a world where allWill know sweet freedom's way,Where greed no ...

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Madam And Her Madam by Langston Hughes

Madam And Her Madam by Langston Hughes

I worked for a woman,She wasn't mean--But she had a twelve-roomHouse to clean.Had to get breakfast,Dinner, and supper, too--Then take care of her childrenWhen I got through.Wash, ...

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Harlem [dream Deferred] by Langston Hughes

Harlem [dream Deferred] by Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?Does it dry uplike 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 ...

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Oppression by Langston Hughes

Oppression by Langston Hughes

Now dreamsAre not availableTo the dreamers,Nor songsTo the singers.In some landsDark nightAnd cold steelPrevailBut the dreamWill come back,And the songBreakIts jail.

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Sea Calm by Langston Hughes

Sea Calm by Langston Hughes

How still,How strangely stillThe water is today,It is not goodFor waterTo be so still that way.

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