Dreams (2) – Langston Hughes


Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.


James Mercer Langston Hughes ( 1902 –1967) was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist from Missouri. He was one of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form called jazz poetry.
He began writing poetry in high school. His father would discourage him from pursuing writing as a career, in favour of something ‘more practical’.
In his poems he portrayed the “average negro” and his actual culture, including both suffering, and love of music, laughter, and language

The word “dreams” was central to Langston Hughes’ poetry: in all their many “variations” (deferred, broken, maintained, achieved)., influencing, among others, Martin Luther King, Jr.
During World War II and at the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement, he spoke about the segregation born out of racial intolerance and provided a kind of call to action, telling his community to never give up their dreams.

Here the poet uses metaphors to underline the importance of dreams in life, because people abandoning their dreams will have nothing left, they will be like hopeless birds unable to fly or live in an arid sterile condition . So, the message is to hold onto our dreams and never let them go, because they will come true, in the end.

langston hughes


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