Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Langston Hughes

Theme For English B/Harlem

Langston Hughes

Both of these poems are simply structured as compared to the other authors we have read lately. I personally love Langston Hughes so I am partial to his writings.  I used Theme For English B as an ancillary material for a unit I did in another education class. I think that poem is an amazing piece of writing. He is 22 in his classes in Harlem and he is the only black person in there. His assignment is to write a paper, just write and let it flow so “it will be true.” He takes Harlem and connects himself to it. He says Harlem I hear you. He says he likes the same things that people who are not of color like. He presents a complex argument, which is partially while I love this poem; he says that if this paper is a part of me then it will be black, but when you read it, it will become a part of you and you are white. Then he says, “That’s American.” Bam. He just took away color all together and made a category in which they are equal, American. He shows us that we learn from one another and because of our different backgrounds we bring something different to the table.
In the poem, Harlem, I don’t quite understand the title and the significance to the poem, but I think that because he went to school is Harlem is relates back to “dream” he had of being educated or something along those lines. I think that he might be saying that a dream that isn’t pursued will dry up into nothing or it will keep bothering you like a sore. I think these references are very graphic because they are easy to imagine, “rotten meat” and “crust and sugar over.” Then he ends with “does it explode?”  I find this to be a little wild and absurd because your dreams can’t explode, but at the same time it is very dramatic.

1 comment:

  1. I think the title of the poem is sending the message that this is a phenomenon that happens particularly in Harlem. The dream deferred refers to the plight of blacks who want to succeed and have dreams but have to defer them. By using the name Harlem he is appropriating this poem to blacks.