Famous Life Poem

This poem, published in 1949, is told from the perspective of a young black student who, through a class assignment, takes a look at how he relates and doesn’t relate to his white professor. He is searching for how his experiences can compare to those of his white classmates. However, it goes beyond the issue of race. Any human who has struggled with identity can connect with this poem written by an influential leader of the Harlem Renaissance.

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This poem!! I felt a tug in my heart because it was truly a story of truth from your heart! Very well expressed, and I can't say but one thing more. If we keep our ears open we learn from...

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Theme For English B

Langston Hughes By more Langston Hughes

The instructor said,

      Go home and write
      a page tonight.
      And let that page come out of you—
      Then, it will be true.

I wonder if it’s that simple?
I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem.   
I went to school there, then Durham, then here   
to this college on the hill above Harlem.   
I am the only colored student in my class.   
The steps from the hill lead down into Harlem,   
through a park, then I cross St. Nicholas,   
Eighth Avenue, Seventh, and I come to the Y,   
the Harlem Branch Y, where I take the elevator   
up to my room, sit down, and write this page:

It’s not easy to know what is true for you or me   
at twenty-two, my age. But I guess I’m what
I feel and see and hear, Harlem, I hear you.
hear you, hear me—we two—you, me, talk on this page.   
(I hear New York, too.) Me—who?

Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love.   
I like to work, read, learn, and understand life.   
I like a pipe for a Christmas present,
or records—Bessie, bop, or Bach.
I guess being colored doesn’t make me not like
the same things other folks like who are other races.   
So will my page be colored that I write?   
Being me, it will not be white.
But it will be
a part of you, instructor.
You are white—
yet a part of me, as I am a part of you.
That’s American.
Sometimes perhaps you don’t want to be a part of me.   
Nor do I often want to be a part of you.
But we are, that’s true!
As I learn from you,
I guess you learn from me—
although you’re older—and white—
and somewhat more free.

This is my page for English B.

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Has this poem touched you? Share your story!

This poem!! I felt a tug in my heart because it was truly a story of truth from your heart! Very well expressed, and I can't say but one thing more. If we keep our ears open we learn from each other every day. A quote to my three daughters, "Each time I talk to you I learn something new and beautiful."
Jac Judy A. Campbell

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