Thursday, October 25, 2012

Langston Hughes was Somebody

Little girl
Dreaming of a baby grand piano
(Not knowing there's a Steinway bigger, bigger)
Dreaming of a baby grand to play
That stretches paddle-tailed across the floor,
Not standing upright
Like a bad boy in the corner,
But sending music
Up the stairs and down the stairs
And out the door
To confound even Hazel Scott
Who might be passing!
Little boy
Dreaming of the boxing gloves
Joe Louis wore,
The gloves that sent
Two dozen men to the floor.
Bam! Bop! Mop!
There's always room,
They say,
At the top.
--The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, p. 374

This poem really spoke to me about seizing the day because it sounds like Hughes is encouraging these children to go out and seek their dreams. He does not put them down. He does not show them reality. He believes "There's always room... at the top". In my mind that reads as words to be taken to heart. The poem works to help and progress what the little girl, and little boy aspire for. Seize the opportunities, and do what it takes to get to the top. 

Scholars believe the children aspiring to be Hazel Scott, a famous piano player, and Joe Louis, a successful boxer, both living and showing popularity in the first half of the 20th century. Hughes is addressing the children in the poem, maybe because of his notary success. He, a mixed American during times of bias and bigotry, can be considered a huge success story that came out of the blue, just like these aspiring children. One may also be able to look at the aspects of hoping for a better future. Just like many people in his time, himself included, looked for a brighter future, just as these children do (but unlike the children, he and many others looked for equality, not a dream profession).

1 comment:

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