The Weary Blues

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In the poem "The Weary Blues”, Langston Hughes describes an evening of listening to a blues musician in Harlem.
“The Wear 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 He did a lazy sway . . . He did a lazy sway . . .
To the tune o' those Weary Blues.
With his ebony hands on each ivory key
He made that poor piano moan with melody. O Blues!
Swaying to and fro on his rickety stool
He played that sad raggy tune like a musical fool. Sweet Blues!
Coming from a black man's soul. O Blues!
In a deep song voice with a melancholy tone
I heard that Negro sing, that old piano moan— "Ain't got nobody in all this world, Ain't got nobody but ma self. I's gwine to quit ma frownin' And put ma troubles on the shelf."

Thump, thump, thump, went his foot on the floor.
He played a few chords then he sang some more— "I got the Weary Blues And I can't be satisfied. Got the Weary Blues And can't be satisfied— I ain't happy no mo' And I wish that I had died."
And far into the night he crooned that tune.
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.
He slept like a rock or a man that's dead.

With its notation, its reiteration of lines and its inclusion of blues lyric, the poem conjures the somber tone and tempo of blues music and gives the reader an appreciation of the state of mind of the blues musician. Lines 1-3 Hughes uses the sentence structure to show the relationship between the singer and the audience. The singer is swaying as he performs, and so is the audience as they listen to him, causing them to become conflated grammatically in the sentence that describes their interaction. It is then that Hughes

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