The topic of "Dream Variations," which Hughes was known for, is racial pride and equality. The poem evokes a sense of liberation. The narrator expresses a desire to be entirely liberated, to "throw arms wide" and "whirl and dance." This shows that he is proud of his race and wants others to feel the same way.
Additionally, the poem highlights freedom of thought and expression. It has been interpreted as expressing both the poet's acceptance of others' opinions and his belief that diversity is a good thing. Some have even seen it as an early example of black power rhetoric.
Hughes used music as a tool for expression. He wrote most of the poems when he was listening to songs on the radio. "Dream Variations" is no exception. The poem was inspired by the music of Duke Ellington.
Ellington was a American jazz pianist and composer who had a huge impact on popular music. His work includes many classic songs such as "Sophisticated Lady", "Mood Indigo", and "In My Solitude".
Hughes admired Ellington because he believed him to be one of the first black musicians to write music that wasn't influenced by white people. In addition, he credited him with helping to break down racial divisions between blacks and whites.
Langston Hughes' poem "Dream Variations" is a melancholy song that sensitively depicts the singer's longing for a happy existence free of color persecution and racial prejudice. Hughes' principal topic of the Afro-American ideal is alluded to in the poem's title. The musical variations in this poem are noteworthy. Each variation develops its own theme, yet all are connected by their common reference to blackness.
The poem itself was written in 1932 when Hughes was living in New York City. He had recently been rejected by Columbia University because of his race. This failure greatly depressed him but he eventually found success with his poems. By the time this one was published in Poetry magazine, he had become one of the most important voices of the Harlem Renaissance.
In the poem, Langston Hughes expresses his desire for a white friend who will not treat him differently because of his skin color. He believes such a friend exists and that she is just a dream. However, despite his wishful thinking, he realizes these dreams cannot come true so he decides to move on with his life as it is. The last line of the poem states: "And I go on dreaming my dream variations until somebody wakens me."
This poem is told from the point of view of someone who is tired of the reality surrounding them and wishes it were different.
While the speaker of "Dream Variations" fantasizes about a life free of racial injustice, he also fantasizes about strategies to endure tyranny. The poem implies that the speaker's art—his dancing and the art of the poem itself—assists him in surviving life in a racist society and envisioning a better future.
In the first stanza, the speaker imagines how his dance will be viewed by spectators after his death. He hopes that they will remember his artistry and appreciate it, even though he knew he would be denied access to such audiences during his own lifetime. This shows that while the speaker may not have been able to escape racism, he used his talent to make himself worthy of respect from others.
The second stanza is one long sentence that functions as a single image. It begins with the phrase "A great king," which refers to King George III. Then, the speaker imagines strangling this king with his own hands in order to save him from oppression. Finally, he imagines covering the dead king with a blanket to hide his death. By killing the king, the speaker is trying to show that no one should be subjected to violence or oppression. He also is imagining a world without racism, where people can live together in peace.
In the third stanza, the speaker remembers learning about other famous dances that had been performed by slaves before an all-black audience.
Two responses The poem "Dream Variant" by Langston Hughes is about the poet's dream of living one way but having reality dictate an other way of life (a variation of the dream). In this case, the reality is that Hughes is black and America is racist so he has to live as if he were white in order to be accepted by his peers and society at large.
Hughes' father owns a grocery store but is unable to afford to send his son to college because he is too poor. Therefore, Langston has no choice but to leave home at age 17 and go to New York City where he can study literature at Columbia University.
In the city, Langston meets many black people for whom reading and writing are important tools for success. He realizes that if they can do it then he can too so he starts writing poems. Eventually, he publishes several books of poetry and becomes one of the most famous poets of the 20th century.
However, despite all his achievements, Langston still feels like a stranger in his own land because he is black and America is still racist. So he decides to use his position as a speaker at several conferences and events across the United States to talk about social issues such as racism, poverty, and war. He also writes articles for newspapers and magazines to spread awareness about these topics.
Langston Hughes's short poem "Dream" contains several tones. As a result, his comments portray a melancholy tone about the issue of civic injustices. Hughes uses language that is abstract and philosophical, which makes this poem suitable for use in class discussions on symbolism and metaphor.
The first thing you should know about "Dream" is that it is composed of eight stanzas. The second thing you should know is that the poem is divided into two parts: the first part is made up of six lines and the second part has two lines. These two parts are called "couplets". A couplet is a pair of rhyming lines that usually serve as an epigram or brief motto. Langston Hughes uses couplets to mark important ideas in his poem. For example, the last line of the sixth stanza reads "honor rolls must be read / To learn how slaves came to be freed", which shows that freedom and slavery are similar in that both are worthy things that people fight for.
Also, notice that the first line of each couplet begins with the same letter. This is known as "alliteration" and it is used by poets to create a rhythm and pattern in their poems.