Thursday, September 08, 2005

Langston Hughes: Rivers and New Orleans

I am leaving for vacation tomorrow, so I won't be posting for about ten days. Before I go, I'd like to suggest three places to donate for katrina disaster relief:

Red Cross
The Humane Society
Black America Web

I am going to leave you with this gorgeous poem by Langston Hughes, which I found at The Academy of American Poets. The speaker uses the depth of rivers to illustrate the depth to which his soul has grown, and the connection between himself and his ancient heritage. It seems an appropriate reflection given the tragedy on the Gulf Coast. Take care, and read some poetry.

The Negro Speaks of Rivers


I've known rivers:

I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the

flow of human blood in human veins.



My soul has grown deep like the rivers.



I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.

I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.

I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.

I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln

went down to New Orleans, and I've seen its muddy

bosom turn all golden in the sunset.



I've known rivers:

Ancient, dusky rivers.



My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

Langston Hughes

6 comments:

SilverMoon/GEL said...

Powerful poem
I enjoy your choices
Hope you come home relaxed from a glorious vacation that spawns poetry. :D

Doofus said...

"The Negro Speaks Of Rivers": Links to his heritage, unashamed and probably some pride in that. wonderful poem. Enjoy your vacation Amy. =)

Amy said...

silvemoon and doofus:

Thanks for the good wishes. I had a great vacation: a cruise to Bermuda. Sun, fresh air, pastries, a lot of sleep. And champagne.

Doofus said...

a cruise to the bermuda and you made it back in one piece?! haha i'm just teasin'. Anyway, now that you've enjoyed your wonderful vacation, i suppose we all could look forward to more poetry? ain't that right silvermoon? =)

Amy said...

Yes; we actually left Bermuda a day early because Ophelia was churning up the seas quite a bit. So I was forced to spend more time with pastries, champagne, and a little blackjack.

Beech Master Ted. said...

Hi Amy, it's almost Christmas,now, and you have probably returned fron vacation.
I was looking for poetry with meaning,and truth, and when I researched Henry H. Longfellow, I found "The Slave's Dream":...

"Beside the ungathered rice he lay,
His sickle in his hand;
His breast was bare, his matted hair
Was buried in the sand."
You may enjoy. Also, The Slave in the Swamp and the song of Hiawather. I am a student, I live in New York. Have you ever been here? Happy Holidays, 2005 Dear Amy.