The Negro Speaks of Rivers? Thinking about my river once again, I am really on a journey to set out and do what I want to do with my life. From the depths of grief the poet sweeps back to life by clinging to his greatest faith, which is in his people and his sense of kinship with them. For example, start with some basic questions. They include River Mississippi in America, River Nile in Egypt, River Euphrates in Turkey, and River Congo in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In November 1924, he moved to Washington, D. Just like the African-americans back during the Harlem Renaissance, they set out on their journey to try to find equality in life. In general, ask yourself how you feel after having read the poem several times.
The Nile, which runs from LakeVictoria in Uganda in Africa through Egypt to the Mediterranean,was the site of ancient Egyptian civilization. In the fourth line of the poem Hughes speaks of the Euphrates River. She Went to the town to bring her Mother. The Congo originates in centralAfrica and flows into the Atlantic. He edited the anthologies The Poetry of the Negro and The Book of Negro Folklore, wrote an acclaimed autobiography, The Big Sea Knopf, 1940 , and cowrote the play Mule Bone HarperCollins, 1991 with Zora Neale Hurston. Once again using a metaphor to compare African-Americans with the rivers.
Later on, his mother remarried and moved them to Cleveland, Ohio, were Hughes went to high school and was an excellent student. The ancient rivers the speaker talks of are like the blood in veins or the roots under trees because they provide sustenance and can give and support life. It was also read out loud at Hughes's own funeral service in 1967. He is the son of James and Carrie Hughes, but they would later divorce after his birth. The magical transformation of the Mississippi from mud to gold by the sun's radiance is mirrored in the transformation of slaves into free men by Lincoln's Proclamation and, in Hughes's poems, the transformation of shabby cabarets into gorgeous palaces, dancing girls into queens and priestesses by the spell of black music. They are the earthly analogues of eternity: deep, continuous, mysterious. My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
Just like those individuals during the time period of the Harlem Renaissance, I too am constantly moving towards something larger in life to make my life as fulfilling as possible. Instead of having the form of the poem influence the meaning, Hughes' use of figurative devices allusion, metaphor, … and repetition is how the reader gleans the meaning. To many whites it represents prosperity, especially in the time of the Civil War when slave trade was one of the bases of economy. The poem is written entirely in first person, so there is a very personal tone, even though the speaker symbolizes the entire black race. Hughes is trying to get through that African-Americans are much deeper then what whites give them credit for. The poem is moving, both real and spiritual, and the watercolors are breathtaking.
The harsh racial discrimination he encountered, along with the experience granted to him by his diverse heritage, essentially shaped every aspect of his life. He is representing his people. Not only being one of his well known works, it is a very good example of the writings that came out of the Harlem Renaissance. Hughes also shows the manner in which the speaker in the poem is proud of the African legacy. The poem seems to revolve around issues facing African and negritude themes.
The speaker serves as a voice for all African Americans, as he traces their lineage to the cradles of civilization. The poem was published in Crisis Magazine the magazine of the in 1921, a year later. By virtue of being a citizen of the world, a member of a community, you know the ideas in this poem very well. From Black Poets of the United States. He writes about bathing in the Euphrates at the beginning of civilization, and later, he built a hut along the Congo and listened to the river as he fell asleep. As in Whitman's philosophy, only the knowledge of death can bring the primal spark of poetry and life.
Throughout the poem Hughes uses metaphorical statements to suggest to the reader what the soul of the African American has been through. Years later as a teen he would move to Cleveland, Ohio with his mother. The final line reaffirms the speaker's sense of racial pride, of continuity with ancient, advanced civilizations, and of connection to life-giving, enduring forces in nature I've known rivers: I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins. The black man has seen the rise and fall of civilizations from the earliest times, seen the splendor and death-changes of the world over the thousands of years, and will survive even this America. However, if you think carefully, and examine closely, there will usually be clues in the language, to help you determine the tone. The angle of the sun on the muddy water is like the angle of a poet's vision, which turns mud into gold.
Throughout this poem Hughes has placed many symbols in the readers mind to bring the image of the African American people to thought. This poem is written in free verse, and seems, at first glance, to be very unstructured. The very fact that he is on this particular river represents the times of change about to come. One day at school his English teacher introduced him to poets Carl Sandburg and Walt Whitman, which would be his influence to writing poetry. In the whine of a child's voice, we hear it immediately, but in writing, it is sometimes a little more difficult to decipher.
This is a free verse poem. I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids. James Mercer Langston Hughes was born February 1, 1902, in Joplin, Missouri. When his train crossed the Mississippi River, Hughes was inspired by its beauty and was also reminded of its role in sustaining slavery in America. The tone of the repeated declarative sentences is muted, lulling. A phrase came to him, then a sentence. The Pathetic and tragic end of Lucy.