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Langston Hughes

3 Pages 710 Words

Poetry is the art of writing thoughts and stories in verse using specific language; language selected for its beauty, sound and ability to convey emotions.
Langston Hughes was one of America’s most influential writers. He made a large contribution not only to literature but to American culture, as well. James Mercer Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri, on February 1, 1902, to James Nathaniel Hughes, a lawyer and businessman, and Carrie Mercer Hughes, a teacher. In 1921 Hughes moved to New York and attended Columbia University (he also attended Lincoln University and graduated in 1930). In 1923 Hughes left New York for Africa. It was around this time that Langston wrote “I’ too” one of his most powerful and famous poems. Throughout his life he also toured many parts of the world holding odd jobs and living in many different cultures; including Asia, Haiti and Cuba. As well as being a highly recognized poet he was also a novelist, reporter, translator, playwright and a short story writer.
The poems I choose are “I, too” and “Let America be America again”. Each one of these works is challenging and both seem to have unique while altogether similar meanings.
“Let America be America again” seems as though it could be looked at as an extension of “I, too”. In “Let America be America again Langston states:
“Seeking a home where he himself is free…
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.”
It seems to me that is what he is also “seeking” in “I, too”.
In “I, Too”, Hughes gives a voice to the frustration encountered by African Americans when they were denied their basic rights as citizens of America, during the times of slavery. The poem expresses the second class status of given to African Americans and gives a voice to a people who are tired of being treated as second class citizens. The poem begins with, “I, too sing Amer...

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