Through the intense images of this poem, the reader is able to participate in the emotion and poignancy of the history of black people.
Finally, the rivers reflect the direct path of blacks to America.
Since Hughes discusses this history beyond that in America, he transcends localism and projects upon his reader a world experience. He wanted to tell the stories of his people in ways that reflected their actual culture, including both their suffering and their love of music, laughter, and language itself.
In this poem, Hughes is both teller poet and participant African American in the drama being described. After graduating from high school, he spent a year in Mexico followed by a year at Columbia University in New York City.
His life and work were enormously important in shaping the artistic contributions of the Harlem Renaissance of the s. He also travelled to Africa and Europe working as a seaman. Until the time of his death, he spread his message humorously—though always seriously—to audiences throughout the country, having read his poetry to more people possibly than any other American poet.
The critic Donald B. Knopf, Remember Me to Harlem: Lyric poetry is rooted in song and establishes the ritual of the human condition, in this case the condition of black people. The poet reveals the relationship between the river and the lives of black people, starting with a river known to be important during the earliest great civilizations and ending with a river on which slaves were transported, to be bought and sold in the slave markets of America.
Knopf, Ask Your Mama: He was raised by his grandmother until he was thirteen, when he moved to Lincoln, Illinois, to live with his mother and her husband, before the family eventually settled in Cleveland, Ohio. During the twenties when most American poets were turning inward, writing obscure and esoteric poetry to an ever decreasing audience of readers, Hughes was turning outward, using language and themes, attitudes and ideas familiar to anyone who had the ability simply to read.
His parents divorced when he was a young child, and his father moved to Mexico. In Novemberhe moved to Washington, D. It was in Lincoln that Hughes began writing poetry. It is eloquent in its simplicity, allowing readers of all ages and levels of sophistication to enjoy a first reading; however, as one reads this poem, the deeper meaning reveals itself.
The river is also a symbol of the strength of black people as survivors who move through history.
He finished his college education at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania three years later. The flowing, lyrical lines, like water, are charged with meaning, describing what the river has meant to black people in America."The Negro Speaks of Rivers" connects the soul and heritage of the African-American community to four great rivers in the Middle East, Africa, and America.
In this way, the poem charts the journey of African and African-Americans and links this community to the birth of civilization. Throughout the poem 'The Negro Speaks of Rivers' Hughes uses metaphorical statements to suggest to the reader Show More More about An Analysis of The Negro Speaks of Rivers Essay.
The Negro Speaks of Rivers Analysis. Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay. We have a lot to say about this rhythmic and intricate poem that feels to us like a boat rocking its way down a gentle river at night, but we think playwright, activist, and actor, Ossie Davis, say.
Analysis: “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” is Langston Hughes’s first mature poem. He wrote it in at the age of seventeen, while traveling by train to visit his father in Mexico.
The young Hughes was inspired to pen this verse when his train crossed over the Mississippi River. “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” is Langston Hughes’s most anthologized poem.
Hughes wrote this brief poem in fifteen minutes in July,while crossing the Mississippi on a train ride to. 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.Download