Hughes Poems Essay

In: English and Literature

Submitted By barbs94
Words 697
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Langston Hughes was fully involved in the radicalism of the 1930s. His poetry from the period is strongly sympathetic toward the Soviet Union and the cause of international socialism. It shows a lack of patience with failure of American society to address either the racial oppression or the economic degradation and exploitation of the period both at home in the Depression and abroad in European colonialism. Hughes's career followed a varied path; he wrote prose fiction as well as poetry. He collaborated with visual artists and musicians. Within his poetry there is a great deal of variety as well. The Poem “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes, is a short twenty line poem that hass significant meaning in the short verse. Hughes uses an older female speaker to give advice to a son who is part of the younger generation. In the poem Hughes uses the device of an extended metaphor to describe the life of the mother. The extended metaphor compares the mother’s life to a staircase. The line “Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair” begins and ends the poem. With this line, Hughes quickly establishes for us that the speaker in the poem has not had an easy life. The concept of the crystal staircase gives the reader the impression of great wealth. Us the readers can indulge in inferring that it would be someone with supreme wealth and someone who did not have to work as hard as the speaker did. By using the imagery of a crystal staircase as the opposite of her staircase, we immediately know before learning any of the details of her staircase that she has not had an easy life. Another great peom by Hughes is called “Harlem Sweeties”. It is a luscious, sensual poem appealing to the reader's sight, sound, and taste. It is joyous and catchy, and it represents Hughes's early depictions of Harlem. In this poem, Harlem is filled with jazz, sex, art, cultural fecundity, dreams, and…...

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