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Langston Hughes Poems

A collection of select Langston Hughes famous poems that were written by Langston Hughes or written about the poet by other famous poets. PoetrySoup is a comprehensive educational resource of the greatest poems and poets on history.

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by Hughes, Langston
 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...Read More



by Hughes, Langston
 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...Read More

by Hughes, Langston
 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....Read More

by Hughes, Langston
 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...Read More

by Hughes, Langston
 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...Read More

by Hughes, Langston
 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....Read More

by Hughes, Langston
 Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was...Read More



by Hughes, Langston
 When a man starts out with nothing,
 When a man starts out with his hands
 Empty, but clean,
 When a man starts to build a world,
He starts first with...Read More

by Hughes, Langston
 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...Read More

by Hughes, Langston
 Children, I come back today 
To tell you a story of the long dark way 
That I had to climb, that I had to know 
In order that the...Read More

by Hughes, Langston
 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...Read More

by Hughes, Langston
 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...Read More

by Hughes, Langston
 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...Read More

by Hughes, Langston
 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...Read More

by Hughes, Langston
 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...Read More