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Langston Hughes´ Memories In His Poems

1062 words - 5 pages

There are countless times as one grows up when you just stop for a second and reminisce on random things. These memories serve for a very special purpose as the things you do in life shapes you into the person you will become. Today, many authors and poets make use of their memories and experiences in their work as a way to reflect back on their lives, raise awareness, or just simply to tell a story. As a prominent contributor to the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes was an inspirational poet who highlighted many aspects of the urban life of African-Americans through reflections of his own life and experiences. Langston Hughes was
As a writer, a poet and a prominent activist of the civil rights movement, Langston Hughes was a man that was not only inspired by the world around him but used such inspiration to motivate others. Being that he was also one of the most influential writers during the Harlem Renaissance, Hughes held poetry demonstrations as a way to inspire and strived to be the voice of his people and the force to help the dreams of many to move forward. The idea of whether or not to pursue a dream is addressed in one of his poems where he asks “What happens to a dream deferred?” (Langston Hughes, Dreams Deferred). The style of writing in this poem takes the use of questions as a way to have the reader really ponder about a dream that is not pursued. In a sense, Hughes is trying to paint the picture that the dreams that people do not fight for eventually fade away. He uses this as a tactic to hopefully inspire others that dreams are worth fighting for and without them, what would we live for? The underlying tie that connected all of Hughes’s work together was achieved through his devotion to the realization of a certain dream deferred. During this time, this certain dream for all African Americans was the dream of racial equality (The Harlem Project). Hughes once said “Many Americans seem to have the idea that art has little to do with life, you know, and poetry has even less to do with life than other forms of art. Well I don’t think that’s true at all.” (The Harlem Project). Through this mindset, Hughes set out to revolutionize poetry and created such expressive and inspirational work just by reflecting on his own life. He also takes into account with the existing racism at this time that was against him and anyone of color. By incorporating his life into his work, it created a voice for those who were not able to speak up and as a result, life met art (The Harlem Project).
Throughout his works, especially his poetry, Hughes also draws inspiration from music. He describes the blues as ‘“sad funny songs – too sad to be funny and too funny to be sad”’ as the songs hold ‘“laughter and pain, hunger and heartache”’ (Poetry Criticism). This point of view is noticeably reflected onto his poems when some stanzas are in the “form of the typical blues song” (Poetry Criticism). In other words, the stanza had...

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