Monday, November 8, 2010

Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes (1902–1967) is a black American poet whose central themes include the pursuit of dreams, black identity and culture, and Christian faith. He often sought to capture the black dialect in his writing, as well as the rhythms of jazz and blues music. His poetry is often quite accessible, even to a young audience, and often seeks to be an encouragement to the young.

The Dream Keeper

Bring me all of your dreams,
You dreamers,
Bring me all your
Heart melodies
That I may wrap them
In a blue cloud-cloth
Away from the too-rough fingers
Of the world.

These themes may be seen in the preceding poem — particularly if we include the possibility that the "Dream Keeper” could be God, and the dreams might include those of equality as later expounded by Martin Luther King Jr. in his famous “I have a dream” speech.

Judgment Day

They put ma body in the ground,
My soul went flyin` o` de town.

Lord Jesus!

Went flyin` to de stars an` moon
A shoutin`, God, I`s comin` soon.

O Jesus!

Lord in heaben,
Crown in His head,
Says don`t be `fraid
Cause you ain`t dead.

Kind Jesus!

An` now I`m settin` clean an` bright
In the sweet o` ma Lord`s sight,—
---Clean an` bright,
------Clean an` bright.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. He is the award-winning author of the poetry collections Poiema (Wipf & Stock) and So The Moon Would Not Be Swallowed (Rubicon Press). They are both available at: www.dsmartin.ca