"Harlem" may be read in two ways at the same time; the poem's postponed dream can be taken as a collective, societal dream—the dream of an entire group of people—as well as an individual dream. Indeed, the poem implies that individual and community fantasies are inextricably linked. Harlem was a neighborhood in New York City with an established black community, but also a place where many white people went for entertainment. The poem describes how this dream deferred will one day be realized with fireworks and music.
The poem begins with a contrast between present reality and the dream of glory that has been deferred: "Now, boys in Harlem, hear my voice/ Prepare my way to Harlem." Here, Hughes uses language from the Bible (Psalms 16:8) to express the hope that his readers will listen to his words. However, later in the poem it becomes clear that no one is listening; indeed, no one seems interested in his dream.
Harlem was a destination for African Americans looking for better jobs and education. But few blacks could afford to go there; it was too expensive. So the poem suggests that the dream of glory was both communal and personal.
Harlem was known for its jazz clubs, which were popular with whites as well as blacks. But most black musicians in America at the time were not paid; they played for prestige and fame.
Each title hints to a distinct interpretation of the poem's meaning. "Harlem" directs our attention to this dynamic metropolis that was a center of intellectual thinking and creative creativity. "Dream Deferred" focuses on a larger philosophical issue that affects all mankind. We can only hope to achieve some degree of happiness in this life because we know that there will be another day for renewal of life.
These two poems are by Langston Hughes. He was a famous American poet, playwright, and civil rights activist. Hughes published his first collection of poems at the age of 26. Since then, he has been regarded as one of the most significant poets of the 20th century. His works have been included in high school and college curricula throughout the world.
In addition to being a poet, Hughes was also involved in several other forms of art. He painted, wrote music, and designed costumes and sets. He was even nominated for an Academy Award for his short film, The Big Shot's Plan.
Hughes was born into a wealthy family in New York City on February 5, 1902. He had four siblings: Lucille, Charles, Elizabeth, and Alvin. His parents were both from Virginia; they moved to New York when they were young so that their children could get better education. His father worked as a clerk for the post office while his mother took in sewing to provide for the family.
The 11-line poem starts, "What happens to a dream postponed?" It is one of several poems included in the collection that deal with racism in America.
The poem describes how dreams are sacrificed by society for its own needs, and how these dreams will never come true unless we take action to bring them about. The speaker in the poem believes that if his dream of becoming a doctor is not fulfilled now, it will never be fulfilled because he lives in a place where such dreams are not allowed to come true. However, the poet also believes that if he works hard enough at saving up money, he can one day buy a ticket away from this place and go to medical school.
Hughes used his own experiences as the basis for the poem; he had recently returned home after living abroad for four years. During that time, he had become fluent in French and started writing poetry. But most important, he had discovered socialism through George S. Counts, who encouraged him to read Marx's writings. So even though Langston Hughes lived in America, he wrote about issues that affected people everywhere around the world.
Langston Hughes constructs a major metaphor surrounding a dream in the poem "Harlem" by linking a dream to many images of death and devastation in order to inquire what happens to a "dream postponed," or a desire that has been delayed in fulfillment. The speaker in the poem asks himself if his dream will ever be fulfilled, and if so, how will it happen?
Hughes uses violence as an image for death in order to show that desires can die if they are not fulfilled immediately after they have been dreamed about. He also uses fire and destruction as images for death because these things can never be restored once they have happened. Finally, the speaker imagines that his dream may someday be fulfilled but only after he is dead since dreams cannot be realized while someone is alive.
This poem is part of a collection of poems called The Dream Keeper: An Anthology of Contemporary African-American Poetry. It is written in the voice of a young man who is asking himself whether or not his dream will ever be fulfilled, and if so, how will it happen?
The poem is interesting because it is one of few that use violence as an image for death. Most people think of death when they hear words such as murder or killing, but Hughes wants you to know that dreams can die too.
Key Themes in "Harlem": The major themes of this poem include delay, melancholy, and dreams. The poem addresses African Americans' injustice. The tone implies that their ambitions are perpetually unattainable and lose their value. The last line also alludes to the fact that black people can't even be happy.
Hughes uses language carefully to create images that go beyond what can be seen with the naked eye. He does this to make his readers think about how they feel about certain things. For example, when speaking of black people, he uses words like "injustice" and "unattainable" because these terms make listeners think about how they feel about racism without saying anything directly. By creating images with words, Hughes lets readers know how he feels about issues within Harlem and throughout America.
In addition to using language to tell readers what he thinks about them being black in America, Hughes uses it to describe the conditions in Harlem. He does this by mentioning many different things such as drugs, violence, and poverty. Then, at the end of each sentence, he will often use a preposition or conjugate a verb which causes the reader to think about how they feel about those things specifically.