April 19, 2013
Research project: Langston Hughes
Anybody can be philosopher, and come up with wonderful ideas and thoughts in their head. How many of those people can actually get those ideas and thoughts on to paper. For others to cherish or criticize, to love or hate. Only a select few can achieve such a task and it doesn't come easy; to be able to relate to a great amount of people and know that they have the same ideas. It is almost as if you are talking for a group of people when you write a poem cause those feelings you have when you are writing it transcends to those that are reading the poem. Creating feelings with just a group of words and bringing back past emotions or new emotions to the reader.
Langston Hughes is one of those incredible people. The way his poems bring a sensation to them that some other poets can’t even process. “Hughes was a very complex person, split between a sophisticated consciousness and a fierce determination to create a popular and simplified poetic art” (Bloom 10). Langston Hughes had a way of reaching his people by speaking to the black people and putting down everyday life for them. He helped form a new kind of poetry with more rhythm style. “Hughes was an established figure in the Harlem Renaissance, a cultural movement characterized by an explosion of black literature, theater, music, painting, and political and racial consciousness”(Meyers 908). Jazz was growing during the Harlem Renaissance and Langston captured that in jazz poetry. “Jazz poetry is a literary genre defined as poetry necessarily informed by jazz music… Jazz poetry, like the music itself, encompasses a variety of forms, rhythms, and sounds.” (A Brief Guide to Jazz Poetry). Jazz poetry can be seen as a thread that runs through the Harlem Renaissance, the Beat movement, and the Black Arts Movement. Jazz poems are supposed to bring a vivid imagery in your head. To which Langston could write poems that could almost make you feel like you were there dancing and galloping in joy.
Langston Hughes was born in a regular black family. The talent of Langston Hughes really emerged in high school where he participated on the yearbook staff, wrote for the school newspaper, and began his short stories. He found that he loved writing. He brought black culture into books and poetry. “Hughes’s poems, populist and expressionistic, rarely demand, or receive, ‘close reading’” (Bloom 8). He died a great poet, activist, and novelist. His “impressive body of work makes him an important literary artist and a leading African American voice of the twentieth century.” (Meyers 913).
Poetry is such a strong and magical force that is too hard not to be ignored. Poems can come from great depths from death to dreams. Theme in poems are endless, they can be anything. Many poets play off of one theme their whole careers, because they have so much meaning that they felt yet haven’t seen the light of many people. Langston Hughes has a broad amount of themes in his poems, such as uplifting the black people and to help them not be ashamed of whom they are. He kept that one of his major themes for most of his poems. I believe that can also be a broad theme for all his poems. All of Hughes’ poems helped with getting the black culture up and rising and fighting cause things would get better. He gave blacks a sense of optimism. He brought many of his followers to a better place every time they read his poems. Langston Hughes wrote many great poems, I have chosen a select few to write about and try to dig deep inside of them to know where he was coming from. Langston Hughes, a great poet has presented many themes in his works. A theme is the overall process of a poem and gives it life. I will be discovering and understanding the themes Langston Hughes uses in four chosen poems.
“Mother to Son,” by Langston Hughes, is a poem about a mother telling her son about all the hardships that she had to go through in her life....