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Dreams By Langston Hughes

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Alexa Daskalos

on 3 June 2011

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Transcript of Dreams By 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. Langston Hughes James Langston Hughes was born February 1, 1902, in Joplin, Missouri. His parents divorced when he was a small child. He was raised by his grandmother until he was thirteen, then moved with his mother to Cleveland, Ohio. He first began writing poetry in highschool and worked odd jobs here and there. He attended Columbia University to study engineering but dropped out with a b average. After traveling to many countries to write including Africa, he moved to Washington, D.C. Hughes's first book of poetry, The Weary Blues, was published in 1926. He went back to school and finished his college education at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania three years later. Langston Hughes died from prostate cancer on May 22, 1967 Hughes Inspiration Walt Whitman
Portrayed the "average negro"
Harlem time period
wanted to reflect actual culture, including both suffering, and love of music, laughter, and language Tone Serious
Grim Theme Don't ever give up on your dreams because without them, we have nothing. Poetic Devices: "Dreams" is a giant metaphor figurative language, personification, and description.

In dreams Hughes says that "Life is a broken-winged bird." This personification allows us to see that a person who lives a life without dreams is about as hopeless as a bird who, made for flight, cannot fly. He also calls life a "barren field", which expresses the emptiness in which one must live. Rhyme, Rhythm and Repition Hughes restates the phrase "Hold fast to dreams"
The rhyme scheme is simple, and the poem is two stanzas. This allows the poem to flow and the reader can absorb the mataphors "A Dream Deffered" The sister poem to "Dreams"
-Alludes the same message and uses similar
devices as "Dreams" 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 a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode? The reason that I included this poem is to show the similarities
between Hughes writing. This also shows how strongly he believes in
the message he is trying to engage in the readers. This theme not only
defines the two poems, it defines Hughes as a person and hints at events
has encountered in his life. Allusion! one of the most famous and beloved of American plays as it treats an element of the black experience in 1950s Chicago. Word Choice Hold Fast Frozen Barren Hughes repeats the phrase "Hold Fast" as to
stress it's importance. This phrase sounds more meaningful
rather than just saying "hold on to" Could literally mean frozen.
But it could also be meaning that
without dreams your life is frozen Infertile, unproductive
-Means much more than
just an empty field. Hughes is contimplating the idea that as a colored man in the time period, his dreams are put on hold, simply due to the color of his skin. This desire to become something eats at him each and every day of his life This imagery remind us of everyday, ordinary tasks and makes us feel like our speaker is arguing that dreams are as important and as necessary as eating, cooking, cleaning, or carrying something. Rhetorical Questions This image makes us think of hard work and exhaustion. It also makes us think of someone who has to carry such a load all by himself without anybody's help, something that doesn't seem fair. ( A hint to the unfairsness of segregation?) Rhyme and Meter -consists of eleven lines broken into four stanzas. The first and last stanzas contain one line.
-Some lines are short, others longer.
-Some lines contain only monosyllabic words, other are full of syllables.
-There are three places where the poem rhymes, while the rest of the poem doesnt.
-Perhaps our speaker wants us to feel a little frustrated. FREE VERSE! Theme In the midst of World War II and in the very beginning of the Civil Rights Movement, Hughes wrote about the segregation born out of racial intolerance that troubled the country. Hughes provides a kind of call to action, telling his community to never let go of his dreams. Why I think these poems should be chosen.... Well They are my favorite poems ever. (Just kidding again) Me trying to make a joke cause I know that literary contex is more important then me thinking the poem is cool. Duh These poems are full of poetic devices and tone shifts that can be compared and interpreted in many ways. And thats all that matters Just kidding On a less important note..... of course they have literary value
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