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Harlem Renaissance was a harsh period of time for African American poets. Langston Hughes was one of the most famous poets during the Harlem Renaissance. He was a son of a black mother and a white father ("Hughes"1). He focused on ideas about racial discrimination as well as his attitude about his own identity. By writing these great poems, he expressed his feelings. Langston Hughes took his inspiration based on his life. This poet made a huge impact on American society. The work inspired people, but it may come off as harsh. It truly sets his own feelings out there for people to understand the hard time he was having when he was growing up and was not accepted by his own blood. All the works were intended to send a message to people or get across to his readers. Many people got this message, because his meaning was so easy to understand. Even in present time people can understand the message without knowing the writer. Langston Hughes through his writing, demonstrated to mainstream society, the positive, creative works of an African American person.
Langston Hughes started thinking about poetry. He was introduced to the works of poet Carl Sandburg, another poet from the Midwest ("Hughes"2). Langston was happy that he had opportunity to look at some works. A while after he had seen Carl's works, he began writing poetry by himself. He tried to work hard on his poems. Hughes started submitting his works to the magazines, but all of them were rejected ("Hughes"2). After these bad messages, Hughes went to the Mexico. He spent the year after High School in Mexico with his father. He wrote the poems in that country. After the success of "Not Without Laugher" inspired Hughes to live as an author ("Hughes"3). A couple months later, the poet wrote some twenty plays, including "Mulatto"and "Simply Heavenly." Langston Hughes received awards for book on improving race relations.
The poem that represents Langston was "The Negro Speaks Of River". The poem begins, "I've known rivers: / I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the / flow of human blood in human veins"("The Negro" 1). The river symbolizes the linkage of all human life from the earliest time to the present. He continues, naming rivers that represent the history of Western culture. Almost every American who has a love of verse remembers that poem. Hughes relates the struggle of black people to the history of rivers.
Langston Hughes also wrote a poem called "Dream Variations". This poem combines two distinct motifs that were evident in Langston Hughes's poetry throughout his lifetime. This poem is concerned with confronting and resisting racism. As you read it, Langston expresses an intense, momentary feeling. By this poem, Langston impressed people. Dreams and poems invite interpretation through the use of imagination and knowledge.
The "Dream Deferred" was written with a message. In this poetry, Langston wrote a statement about his dreams. He wrote that the dream is not only during sleep time, but it is a goal in life too. It is important to his life. A dream or goal must have negative effects. He offers a possibility of negative effects. As he's saying, " Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun": raisin is dry and it's nutritious and healthy, but if it will dry up, it will be impossible to eat. Hughes wrote that a dream or goal is central that make the member valuable in society ("Deferred"1). This means that a dream is something that you have to wait for.
Hughes poem "Let America Be America Again" is showing the thing that poet wants to improve in America. He's asking America to be America again. Langston asked for the lovely land back, so that never would take away this land. He is asking for the land where liberty is crowded. The writer wants equality on his land. He wants the dreams like they used to be. Hughes wants his world without any blood or pain. The way he's speaking contributes to the meaning. His tone seems so loud, like the poet is talking about his own experience in America. The writer points out the flaws in the ideas of freedom and equal opportunity in his poem. These words are making the reader feel for the speaker and hear the idea that America has not been "good" to everyone equally. In fact, for some, America has never yet lived up to its reputation ("Let America"1).
Langston wrote "The Negro Mother." That poem is written with emotions. It describes the hard time for African Americans. It shows the hard work that African - Americans had to do in order to free from slavery. This woman tells her life story of her hope that her children will follow the way to a better life for all negros. Langston Hughes used figurative language and great word choice to create an easy tone for all readers to read. The Negro Mother is not only for African-Americans, but it can also be the struggle that everyone has to achieve their goal of life.
The poet also wrote "Mother to Son." Hughes is trying to show for people that we all have some hardships and problems. We can't give up on life. The poem is written by mother. Hopeless mother who is trying to show her son that in her life, she too has been through many struggles just like what her son is going through. The tone of this great poem is very dramatic and emotional. She illustrates the hard times that she had to go through in order to achieve something in her life. The mother says that the hardships that she has been through in her life have helped her be the person that she has come to be ("Mother " 1).
In his other art work,"Night Funeral in Harlem". Langston Hughes talked so loud. He tried to express his feelings about the funeral. The name of the poem "Night Funeral in Harlem" makes me feel depressed. However the first line of the poem is very positive; it talks about how nice the funeral cars are. The next line makes me feel sad because the guy that died did not leave any money for his family because he did not pay his insurance. His family must have loved him so much. They bought him a coffin that had nice satin material in it even though he did not leave them any money. The next line talks about the flowers that he received. It seems like his friends liked him a lot and spend money on flowers. His girlfriend was sad that he was dead. She paid for the preacher to preach his funeral. His friends planned his funeral really well; they had pallbearers and an organ and prayers at his funeral. So everybody was sad that was there, it was apparent because they made a funeral nice for him.
Throughout Langston career, the poetry stays unlearned and simple. The black masses and himself viewed beneath criticism. He had a powerful impact on many young black poets, who followed his lead in drawing on the tradition of the blues. Langston Hughes contributed a huge influence on African American culture through the whole United States during the era known as the Harlem Renaissance. He wrote poem that showed black pride in a time where white was a dominant color. He helped heal people's pain by writing poetry through a time of depression. He is usually considered to be one of the most unique and the most-recognized African American poets of the Harlem Renaissance. He passed through high barriers that very few artists had done before this him. Hughes was presented with a great opportunity with the rise black art during the 1920's and by his creative style of writing poetry, which used black culture as its base and still appealed to all races. He received first place In "Opportunity magazine," first prize in "undergraduate poetry". For all of his works, he was honored as the best African-American poet during Harlem Renaissance.