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Best Famous Langston Hughes Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Langston Hughes poems. This is a select list of the best famous Langston Hughes poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Langston Hughes poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of langston hughes poems.

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by Langston Hughes | |

Still Here

 I been scared and battered.
My hopes the wind done scattered.
Snow has friz me, Sun has baked me, Looks like between 'em they done Tried to make me Stop laughin', stop lovin', stop livin'-- But I don't care! I'm still here!


by Langston Hughes | |

The Blues

 When the shoe strings break
On both your shoes
And you're in a hurry-
That's the blues.
When you go to buy a candy bar And you've lost the dime you had- Slipped through a hole in your pocket somewhere- That's the blues, too, and bad!


by Langston Hughes | |

Walkers With The Dawn

 Being walkers with the dawn and morning,
Walkers with the sun and morning,
We are not afraid of night,
Nor days of gloom,
Nor darkness--
Being walkers with the sun and morning.


More great poems below...

by Langston Hughes | |

Ardella

 I would liken you
To a night without stars
Were it not for your eyes.
I would liken you To a sleep without dreams Were it not for your songs.


by Langston Hughes | |

I Too Sing America

 I, too, sing America.
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen When company comes, But I laugh, And eat well, And grow strong.
Tomorrow, I'll be at the table When company comes.
Nobody'll dare Say to me, "Eat in the kitchen," Then.
Besides, They'll see how beautiful I am And be ashamed-- I, too, am America.


by Langston Hughes | |

Mother to Son

 Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
It's had tacks in it, And splinters, And boards torn up, And places with no carpet on the floor— Bare.
But all the time I'se been a-climbin' on, And reachin' landin's, And turnin' corners, And sometimes goin' in the dark Where there ain't been no light.
So, boy, don't you turn back.
Don't you set down on the steps.
'Cause you finds it's kinder hard.
Don't you fall now— For I'se still goin', honey, I'se still climbin', And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.


by Langston Hughes | |

Quiet Girl

 I would liken you
To a night without stars
Were it not for your eyes.
I would liken you To a sleep without dreams Were it not for your songs.


by Langston Hughes | |

Life Is Fine

 I went down to the river,
I set down on the bank.
I tried to think but couldn't, So I jumped in and sank.
I came up once and hollered! I came up twice and cried! If that water hadn't a-been so cold I might've sunk and died.
But it was Cold in that water! It was cold! I took the elevator Sixteen floors above the ground.
I thought about my baby And thought I would jump down.
I stood there and I hollered! I stood there and I cried! If it hadn't a-been so high I might've jumped and died.
But it was High up there! It was high! So since I'm still here livin', I guess I will live on.
I could've died for love-- But for livin' I was born Though you may hear me holler, And you may see me cry-- I'll be dogged, sweet baby, If you gonna see me die.
Life is fine! Fine as wine! Life is fine!


by Langston Hughes | |

Dream Deferred

 What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore--
And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?


by Langston Hughes | |

Theme For English B

 The instructor said,

 Go home and write
 a page tonight.
And let that page come out of you-- Then, it will be true.
I wonder if it's that simple? I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem.
I went to school there, then Durham, then here to this college on the hill above Harlem.
I am the only colored student in my class.
The steps from the hill lead down into Harlem, through a park, then I cross St.
Nicholas, Eighth Avenue, Seventh, and I come to the Y, the Harlem Branch Y, where I take the elevator up to my room, sit down, and write this page: It's not easy to know what is true for you or me at twenty-two, my age.
But I guess I'm what I feel and see and hear, Harlem, I hear you: hear you, hear me--we two--you, me, talk on this page.
(I hear New York, too.
) Me--who? Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love.
I like to work, read, learn, and understand life.
I like a pipe for a Christmas present, or records--Bessie, bop, or Bach.
I guess being colored doesn't make me not like the same things other folks like who are other races.
So will my page be colored that I write? Being me, it will not be white.
But it will be a part of you, instructor.
You are white-- yet a part of me, as I am a part of you.
That's American.
Sometimes perhaps you don't want to be a part of me.
Nor do I often want to be a part of you.
But we are, that's true! As I learn from you, I guess you learn from me-- although you're older--and white-- and somewhat more free.
This is my page for English B.


by Langston Hughes | |

Justice

 That Justice is a blind goddess
Is a thing to which we black are wise:
Her bandage hides two festering sores
That once perhaps were eyes.


by Langston Hughes | |

Problems

 2 and 2 are 4.
4 and 4 are 8.
But what would happen If the last 4 was late? And how would it be If one 2 was me? Or if the first 4 was you Divided by 2?


by Langston Hughes | |

Democracy

 Democracy will not come
Today, this year
 Nor ever
Through compromise and fear.
I have as much right As the other fellow has To stand On my two feet And own the land.
I tire so of hearing people say, Let things take their course.
Tomorrow is another day.
I do not need my freedom when I'm dead.
I cannot live on tomorrow's bread.
Freedom Is a strong seed Planted In a great need.
I live here, too.
I want freedom Just as you.


by Langston Hughes | |

Dream Variations

 To fling my arms wide
In some place of the sun,
To whirl and to dance
Till the white day is done.
Then rest at cool evening Beneath a tall tree While night comes on gently, Dark like me- That is my dream! To fling my arms wide In the face of the sun, Dance! Whirl! Whirl! Till the quick day is done.
Rest at pale evening.
.
.
A tall, slim tree.
.
.
Night coming tenderly Black like me.


by Langston Hughes | |

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.


by Langston Hughes | |

The Weary Blues

 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.


by Langston Hughes | |

Daybreak In Alabama

 When I get to be a composer
I'm gonna write me some music about
Daybreak in Alabama
And I'm gonna put the purtiest songs in it
Rising out of the ground like a swamp mist
And falling out of heaven like soft dew.
I'm gonna put some tall tall trees in it And the scent of pine needles And the smell of red clay after rain And long red necks And poppy colored faces And big brown arms And the field daisy eyes Of black and white black white black people And I'm gonna put white hands And black hands and brown and yellow hands And red clay earth hands in it Touching everybody with kind fingers And touching each other natural as dew In that dawn of music when I Get to be a composer And write about daybreak In Alabama.


by Langston Hughes | |

Merry-Go-Round

 COLORED CHILD AT CARNIVAL

Where is the Jim Crow section 
On this merry-go-round, 
Mister, cause I want to ride?
Down South where I come from 
White and colored 
Can't sit side by side.
Down South on the train There's a Jim Crow car.
On the bus we're put in the back-- But there ain't no back To a merry-go-round! Where's the horse For a kid that's black?


by Langston Hughes | |

Juke Box Love Song

 I could take the Harlem night
and wrap around you,
Take the neon lights and make a crown,
Take the Lenox Avenue busses,
Taxis, subways,
And for your love song tone their rumble down.
Take Harlem's heartbeat, Make a drumbeat, Put it on a record, let it whirl, And while we listen to it play, Dance with you till day-- Dance with you, my sweet brown Harlem girl.


by Langston Hughes | |

Night Funeral In Harlem

 Night funeral
 In Harlem:

 Where did they get
 Them two fine cars?

Insurance man, he did not pay--
His insurance lapsed the other day--
Yet they got a satin box
for his head to lay.
Night funeral In Harlem: Who was it sent That wreath of flowers? Them flowers came from that poor boy's friends-- They'll want flowers, too, When they meet their ends.
Night funeral in Harlem: Who preached that Black boy to his grave? Old preacher man Preached that boy away-- Charged Five Dollars His girl friend had to pay.
Night funeral In Harlem: When it was all over And the lid shut on his head and the organ had done played and the last prayers been said and six pallbearers Carried him out for dead And off down Lenox Avenue That long black hearse done sped, The street light At his corner Shined just like a tear-- That boy that they was mournin' Was so dear, so dear To them folks that brought the flowers, To that girl who paid the preacher man-- It was all their tears that made That poor boy's Funeral grand.
Night funeral In Harlem.


by Langston Hughes | |

Po Boy Blues

 When I was home de
Sunshine seemed like gold.
When I was home de Sunshine seemed like gold.
Since I come up North de Whole damn world's turned cold.
I was a good boy, Never done no wrong.
Yes, I was a good boy, Never done no wrong, But this world is weary An' de road is hard an' long.
I fell in love with A gal I thought was kind.
Fell in love with A gal I thought was kind.
She made me lose ma money An' almost lose ma mind.
Weary, weary, Weary early in de morn.
Weary, weary, Early, early in de morn.
I's so weary I wish I'd never been born.


by Langston Hughes | |

Fire-Caught

 The gold moth did not love him
So, gorgeous, she flew away.
But the gray moth circled the flame Until the break of day.
And then, with wings like a dead desire, She fell, fire-caught, into the flame.


by Langston Hughes | |

Minstrel Man

 Because my mouth
Is wide with laughter
And my throat
Is deep with song, 
You do not think 
I suffer after
I have held my pain
So long?

Because my mouth 
Is wide with laughter, 
You do not hear
My inner cry? 
Because my feet
Are gay with dancing, 
You do not know 
I die?


by Langston Hughes | |

Advertisement For The Waldorf-Astoria

 Fine living .
.
.
a la carte? Come to the Waldorf-Astoria! LISTEN HUNGRY ONES! Look! See what Vanity Fair says about the new Waldorf-Astoria: "All the luxuries of private home.
.
.
.
" Now, won't that be charming when the last flop-house has turned you down this winter? Furthermore: "It is far beyond anything hitherto attempted in the hotel world.
.
.
.
" It cost twenty-eight million dollars.
The fa- mous Oscar Tschirky is in charge of banqueting.
Alexandre Gastaud is chef.
It will be a distinguished background for society.
So when you've no place else to go, homeless and hungry ones, choose the Waldorf as a background for your rags-- (Or do you still consider the subway after midnight good enough?) ROOMERS Take a room at the new Waldorf, you down-and-outers-- sleepers in charity's flop-houses where God pulls a long face, and you have to pray to get a bed.
They serve swell board at the Waldorf-Astoria.
Look at the menu, will you: GUMBO CREOLE CRABMEAT IN CASSOLETTE BOILED BRISKET OF BEEF SMALL ONIONS IN CREAM WATERCRESS SALAD PEACH MELBA Have luncheon there this afternoon, all you jobless.
Why not? Dine with some of the men and women who got rich off of your labor, who clip coupons with clean white fingers because your hands dug coal, drilled stone, sewed gar- ments, poured steel to let other people draw dividends and live easy.
(Or haven't you had enough yet of the soup-lines and the bit- ter bread of charity?) Walk through Peacock Alley tonight before dinner, and get warm, anyway.
You've got nothing else to do.


by Langston Hughes | |

Madam And Her Madam

 I worked for a woman,
She wasn't mean--
But she had a twelve-room
House to clean.
Had to get breakfast, Dinner, and supper, too-- Then take care of her children When I got through.
Wash, iron, and scrub, Walk the dog around-- It was too much, Nearly broke me down.
I said, Madam, Can it be You trying to make a Pack-horse out of me? She opened her mouth.
She cried, Oh, no! You know, Alberta, I love you so! I said, Madam, That may be true-- But I'll be dogged If I love you!