Poem Explication: The Negro Speaks Of Rivers

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Poem Explication: The Negro Speaks of Rivers “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” is written by the American poet Langston Hughes who was best known for his multiple roles as a poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist. He was among one of the most notable poets during the time period of 1920s which was better known as the “Harlem Renaissance” in America. This poem has been composed by Hughes in the year 1920 during a train journey back to his homeland. This poem is considered to be one of the most famous poems of that era which witnessed the emergence of the black writers for the very first time in America. “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” is a poem that speaks about a black man or a Negro who is daunted by the beauty of the rivers. He…show more content…
Alqarni 5 In the concluding part of the poem the speaker’s mind is brimmed with hurt he has gone through all the years into enslavement. The sufferings have affected him very badly, but still he is in love with the rivers. Rivers are an integral part of his life, he compares his entire life to the course of a river. With all the submission and deposition of oppressions that he has experienced, the speaker tells his readers that his heart has grown old and deep as a river, “My soul has grown deep like the rivers” (12). The poet ends his poem with a pensive note that the torments of slavery have made the speaker’s soul “dusky.” He is not only tortured physically but emotionally as well. The speaker somewhere speaks the words that Hughes himself had preached, but the speaker is not a total depiction of the poet. Rather the poet pictures the speaker as a voice of all the African- Americans from the ancient to the contemporary world. The great connection with the speaker’s soul and the rivers is distinctive in its approach and that makes the readers sit down and think about the content. This is indeed a mighty piece of literary work by Langston

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