Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Happy Birthday, Langston

Today in 1902, in Joplin, Missouri, Langston Hughes was born. After traveling in Europe and West Africa, he came back to New York and became a leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance.

The Negro Speaks of Rivers

I've known rivers:
I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
     flow of human blood in human veins.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln
     went down to New Orleans, and I've seen its muddy
     bosom turn all golden in the sunset.

I've known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

There's more Hughes here, including Let America be America again which is too long to put here.


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