Langston Hughes Themes In The Negro Speaks Of Rivers

“The Poet Laureate of Black America” (Waldron), he once was a lonely outsider and became an American poet icon. That is James Mercer Langston Hughes pioneers of the literary art form called jazz poetry. Langston Hughes wrote for not just the African-American people, but for everyone who were, sat aside from the American dream. After analyzing a few of Hughes poems, his themes for expressing his personal life and struggles as an African-American people. The continuing 1920’s conflict for equality, social justice and a chance at the American dream. Exploring the life of Langston Hughes from his birth, childhood, inspirations, achievements, and his forms of poetry will reveal the importance of his contributions to the literary world as an American …show more content…
The focus of the poem is a relationship between major rivers and African American in America; they are long and broad in comparison. The central conflict is the legacy of American Americans versus discrimination that they experienced. The poem is in the first person “I,” but means all African American as a whole race. In order to express Hughes’s genuine emotions the poem written in free verse with no set meter or rhyme arrangement. Similarly, the poem contains allusion, repetition, metaphors, and personification. In the stanza, one, line 2 “rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins” (693), is a metaphor that compares rivers to human blood. Subsequently, he uses repetition with “I 've known rivers.” Moreover, the mention of the river names, hold a historical allusion to survival and civilization. The Euphrates, where their journey started –birthplace of human civilization, their settlement was located in Africa along the Congo- Africa kingdoms. Egyptian construction of pyramids along the Nile, and ends in Mississippi where Abe Lincoln fought for freedom in New Orleans. Hughes uses imagery in, “I 've seen its muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset” (693), which describes the surroundings as Mississippi find freedom. Next, one personification used in “the Congo and it lulled me to sleep” (693). Another personification is, “bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young” (603), and “the singing of the Mississippi” (693). Likewise, a simile used in “My soul has grown deep like the rivers.” Another, metaphor used in this sentence, “I 've seen its muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset” (693); “muddy” is the color of the skin of slavery and “golden” is abolished slavery. Moreover, this poem expresses its importance and allow the reader to see the full circle come to the end in “I 've known rivers: Ancient, dusky rivers” and “My soul has grown

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