Friday, January 15, 2010

January 15, 2010

I am enamored of Langston Hughes; the man and his work. I know I share this sentiment with many scholars and bibliophiles and I’ve had the pleasure of studying both he and period in which he produced much of his work – the Harlem Renaissance. This spawned the topic for my master’s thesis, “Changing the Exchange,” which examines his poetry and offers up some theories I have about his work, overall. The depth and breadth of what Langston created, his numerous travels and unending perseverance in the face of so, so much adversity, make him a great focus at all times, particularly in times such as these, when hope is needed. Well-known for his poem “Dream Deferred,” which prefaces the written version of Lorraine Hansberry’s phenomenal play, A Raisin the Sun, he underpins all of his work with the thematic linchpin of dreams. I was particularly enthralled with his poem “Cultural Exchange,” which was rich with layers of meaning and multiple allusions that led to weeks of research just to explicate the meaning of a few of the elements. Having said that, I love equally the fact that Langston was creatively influenced by the music of his time and so I’d like to share with you one of my favorite poems by him called, “Juke Box Love Song.”
Juke Box Love Song
I could take the Harlem night and wrap around you,

Take the neon lights and make a crown,

Take the Lenox Avenue busses,Taxis, subways,

And for your love song tone their rumble down.

Take Harlem's heartbeat,

Make a drumbeat,

Put it on a record, let it whirl,

And while we listen to it play,

Dance with you till day--

Dance with you,

my sweet brown Harlem girl.

By: Langston Hughes

Link to Diane’s master’s thesis for fun: (And, actually, it was a whole lotta fun to research and write!)

No comments:

Post a Comment