Langston Hughs/ Poetry discussion

Moderators: moonflower, bags123

User avatar
bags123
Insufferable Crouton
Posts: 4698
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2002 12:01 am
Location: Upstate

Langston Hughs/ Poetry discussion

Post by bags123 » Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:19 am

Let America be America Again

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 America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There's never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek--
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one's own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean--
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today--O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That's made America the land it has become.
O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home--
For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore,
And Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa's strand I came
To build a "homeland of the free."

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we've dreamed
And all the songs we've sung
And all the hopes we've held
And all the flags we've hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay--
Except the dream that's almost dead today.

O, let America be America again--
The land that never has been yet--
And yet must be--the land where every man is free.
The land that's mine--the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME--
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose--
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath--
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain--
All, all the stretch of these great green states--
And make America again!

Langston Hughes


What a wonderful poem,.... and so appropriate to the times. Don't you think?
I prefer to keep an open mind,....but not so much that my brains fall out.- Carl Sagan
Your brain is like an umbrella. It only works when it's open- Someone Smart


Poet of the Month
March 2011

User avatar
bags123
Insufferable Crouton
Posts: 4698
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2002 12:01 am
Location: Upstate

Re: Langston Hughs/ Poetry discussion

Post by bags123 » Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:27 am

Hughes, like many black writers and artists of his time, was drawn to the promise of Communism as an alternative to a segregated America. Many of his lesser-known political writings have been collected in two volumes published by the University of Missouri Press and reflect his attraction to Communism. An example is the poem "A New Song":[60]

I speak in the name of the black millions
Awakening to action.
Let all others keep silent a moment
I have this word to bring,
This thing to say,
This song to sing:
Bitter was the day
When I bowed my back
Beneath the slaver's whip.
That day is past.
Bitter was the day
When I saw my children unschooled,
My young men without a voice in the world,
My women taken as the body-toys
Of a thieving people.
That day is past.
Bitter was the day, I say,
When the lyncher's rope
Hung about my neck,
And the fire scorched my feet,
And the oppressors had no pity,
And only in the sorrow songs
Relief was found.
That day is past.
I know full well now
Only my own hands,
Dark as the earth,
Can make my earth-dark body free.
O thieves, exploiters, killers,
No longer shall you say
With arrogant eyes and scornful lips:
"You are my servant,
Black man-
I, the free!"
That day is past-
For now,
In many mouths-
Dark mouths where red tongues burn
And white teeth gleam-
New words are formed,
Bitter
With the past
But sweet
With the dream.
Tense,
Unyielding,
Strongand sure,
They sweep the earth-
Revolt! Arise!
The Black
And White World
Shall be one!
The Worker's World!
The past is done!
A new dream flames
Against the
Sun!
I prefer to keep an open mind,....but not so much that my brains fall out.- Carl Sagan
Your brain is like an umbrella. It only works when it's open- Someone Smart


Poet of the Month
March 2011

User avatar
bags123
Insufferable Crouton
Posts: 4698
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2002 12:01 am
Location: Upstate

Re: Langston Hughs/ Poetry discussion

Post by bags123 » Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:30 am

Image
I prefer to keep an open mind,....but not so much that my brains fall out.- Carl Sagan
Your brain is like an umbrella. It only works when it's open- Someone Smart


Poet of the Month
March 2011

User avatar
gordy
Windfall Prophet
Posts: 1459
Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2002 12:01 am
Location: HAMILTON OHIO

Re: Langston Hughs/ Poetry discussion

Post by gordy » Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:32 am

umm you should have put this in your laureate thingy ya know......lol :thumbsup:
-----------------------------
Image

My Jesus hung out with thieves and sluts and liars, which Jesus do you worship?

---Todd Agnew


Perfection is my enemy
Procrastination is his cohort
Persistence is my sword

---Gordy

User avatar
gordy
Windfall Prophet
Posts: 1459
Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2002 12:01 am
Location: HAMILTON OHIO

Re: Langston Hughs/ Poetry discussion

Post by gordy » Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:33 am

i think communism on paper is an ideal solution but with human nature being what it is and will always be it will never work long term and rarely in short term even :2cents:
-----------------------------
Image

My Jesus hung out with thieves and sluts and liars, which Jesus do you worship?

---Todd Agnew


Perfection is my enemy
Procrastination is his cohort
Persistence is my sword

---Gordy

User avatar
bags123
Insufferable Crouton
Posts: 4698
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2002 12:01 am
Location: Upstate

Re: Langston Hughs/ Poetry discussion

Post by bags123 » Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:48 am

gordy wrote:i think communism on paper is an ideal solution but with human nature being what it is and will always be it will never work long term and rarely in short term even :2cents:
Yeah,.... it'll never be as smooth as capitilism. :roll:
I prefer to keep an open mind,....but not so much that my brains fall out.- Carl Sagan
Your brain is like an umbrella. It only works when it's open- Someone Smart


Poet of the Month
March 2011

User avatar
gordy
Windfall Prophet
Posts: 1459
Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2002 12:01 am
Location: HAMILTON OHIO

Re: Langston Hughs/ Poetry discussion

Post by gordy » Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:54 am

well one being flawed doesnt negate the possibility of other being corruptable as well......... :2cents:
-----------------------------
Image

My Jesus hung out with thieves and sluts and liars, which Jesus do you worship?

---Todd Agnew


Perfection is my enemy
Procrastination is his cohort
Persistence is my sword

---Gordy

User avatar
bags123
Insufferable Crouton
Posts: 4698
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2002 12:01 am
Location: Upstate

Re: Langston Hughs/ Poetry discussion

Post by bags123 » Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:56 am

gordy wrote:well one being flawed doesnt negate the possibility of other being corruptable as well......... :2cents:
One being flawed doesn't negate the possibility that the other could be better too. :cheers:
I prefer to keep an open mind,....but not so much that my brains fall out.- Carl Sagan
Your brain is like an umbrella. It only works when it's open- Someone Smart


Poet of the Month
March 2011

Leysa
Mistress of the South
Posts: 274
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2002 12:01 am
Location: Hot Springs National Park, AR

Re: Langston Hughs/ Poetry discussion

Post by Leysa » Fri Jan 09, 2009 7:55 am

Oh, yeah, communist countries have done such a great job for their people ...

Sadly there's always folks who take advantage ...

User avatar
bags123
Insufferable Crouton
Posts: 4698
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2002 12:01 am
Location: Upstate

Re: Langston Hughs/ Poetry discussion

Post by bags123 » Fri Jan 09, 2009 8:07 am

Leysa wrote:Oh, yeah, communist countries have done such a great job for their people ...

Sadly there's always folks who take advantage ...
oh hum....... :computer:
I prefer to keep an open mind,....but not so much that my brains fall out.- Carl Sagan
Your brain is like an umbrella. It only works when it's open- Someone Smart


Poet of the Month
March 2011

User avatar
gordy
Windfall Prophet
Posts: 1459
Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2002 12:01 am
Location: HAMILTON OHIO

Re: Langston Hughs/ Poetry discussion

Post by gordy » Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:23 am

fe fi ho hum i smell the ire of an irishman :lol: :mrgreen: :hello:
-----------------------------
Image

My Jesus hung out with thieves and sluts and liars, which Jesus do you worship?

---Todd Agnew


Perfection is my enemy
Procrastination is his cohort
Persistence is my sword

---Gordy

Leysa
Mistress of the South
Posts: 274
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2002 12:01 am
Location: Hot Springs National Park, AR

Re: Langston Hughs/ Poetry discussion

Post by Leysa » Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:43 am

Hey, Bags, for the record, I understand the Utopian concept of communism. If capitalism does anything, it proves that some folks will step on others, no matter what, to get ahead. And smile while they do it. Those same folks would exist in a communistic society. They would find a way to garner more power, corrupt the system, etc.

I get the beauty of the idea ... I just don't believe it would work with our species!!!

User avatar
bags123
Insufferable Crouton
Posts: 4698
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2002 12:01 am
Location: Upstate

Re: Langston Hughs/ Poetry discussion

Post by bags123 » Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:34 am

Leysa wrote:Hey, Bags, for the record, I understand the Utopian concept of communism. If capitalism does anything, it proves that some folks will step on others, no matter what, to get ahead. And smile while they do it. Those same folks would exist in a communistic society. They would find a way to garner more power, corrupt the system, etc.

I get the beauty of the idea ... I just don't believe it would work with our species!!!
You give me hope that whatever makes us human isn't entirely lost. :cheers:
I prefer to keep an open mind,....but not so much that my brains fall out.- Carl Sagan
Your brain is like an umbrella. It only works when it's open- Someone Smart


Poet of the Month
March 2011

Leysa
Mistress of the South
Posts: 274
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2002 12:01 am
Location: Hot Springs National Park, AR

Re: Langston Hughs/ Poetry discussion

Post by Leysa » Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:03 am

I'm a team player, anyway, not a leader ... so I could do the communal society-thing very easily. I think it would be much more stress free and likely give me more time to simply enjoy life. Even, perhaps, more appreciation of life.

Frankly the older I get, the less I value material stuff. I stressed over that kind of thing when I was younger and really into keeping up with the Joneses. I don't have the time or energy for that crap any longer. My friends, my family, and now, especially David, are my focus. And a peaceful existence. :angel:

User avatar
bags123
Insufferable Crouton
Posts: 4698
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2002 12:01 am
Location: Upstate

Re: Langston Hughs/ Poetry discussion

Post by bags123 » Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:22 am

Leysa wrote:I'm a team player, anyway, not a leader ... so I could do the communal society-thing very easily. I think it would be much more stress free and likely give me more time to simply enjoy life. Even, perhaps, more appreciation of life.

Frankly the older I get, the less I value material stuff. I stressed over that kind of thing when I was younger and really into keeping up with the Joneses. I don't have the time or energy for that crap any longer. My friends, my family, and now, especially David, are my focus. And a peaceful existence. :angel:
Amen. I'm finding the same thing. I'm at a point in life that I could have almost anything that I really wanted. Trouble is,....now I don't want it anymore. :mrgreen: I'm quite content where I am. I have my own little daily routines. I get to travel when I want,... but the more I travel,.... the more I'd rather be home. Strange how that happens isn't it?
I prefer to keep an open mind,....but not so much that my brains fall out.- Carl Sagan
Your brain is like an umbrella. It only works when it's open- Someone Smart


Poet of the Month
March 2011

Post Reply

Return to “Poets Laureate November 2008 - April 2009: bags123 and moonflower”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest