Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"Harlem" Langston Hughes

One particular question that came to mind, while writing my blog was that "I wonder what exactly the dream was that Hughes was reflecting on while he wrote this piece of poetry"?. I wonder perhaps, if maybe he could be reflecting on an dream that someone close to him, could have dreamt of. I wonder if maybe Hughes had been refering to the dreams of just African-Americans or perhaps that of anyone in general. This piece of writing, can be summarized as being about an dream that did not come true. Hughes describes this situation in many different elements. He compares an dead dream, to an "dried raisin in the sun" or an "festering sore". He also asks the reader, if the dying dream "explodes" in the person if it doesn't come true. Or, does the dream "sag like an heavy load" and weighs the person down.
While I was observing the poetry that had been created by the hands of this creative writer, I could not help but noticed how it made me think of the film "A Raisin in the Sun". This had been due to the fact, that when I was taking American English in high school, I had to study this poem and watch this film. This film starring Sydney Poitier, had been about the Younger family. This story had been set in Chicago's southside. This story chronicles the conflicts and dreams of each family member.
The main character is Walter, that is working as an chaeffeur. Him, his pregnant wife Ruth, sister Beneatha, son Travis, and grandmother Lena all lived together in an small apartment complex. However, when the insurance policy comes through on Lena's deceased husband, they debate on what to do with the money. Beneata wants to go to medical school. Walter wants to be able to own his own liquor store. Likewise, Lena wants to move the family to an neighborhood, in an better part of Chicago. The film chronicles the racism that many blacks during this time period had to endure. so I can see why this film, takes its name from an verse in this poem.
When it comes to class readings, I thought of another poem caused Heritage by Countee Cullen.  This had been due to the fact, that these poems both have similiar themes of repression and self-identity. In both poems, one gets the sense that the writer is restricted and has an sense of wanting to escape, from the constraints of society.
Lastly, I am not an huge fan of reading poetry. I perfer reading plays or short stories. I have written poetry before, and I find it to be an lot harder form of writing to be able to compose and interpet. However, I find this to be an short poem that says a lot in its few verses. This poem is very powerful and should make the reader reflect on the questions that are asked.

1 comment:

  1. I have an few closing comments, to make about this poem. One comment, is that this poem does have an strong connection to Countee Cullen's "Heritage". Also, people mistakenly think that this poem is called an "Dream Deferred". That is due to the fact, that the word "Harlem" is never used in the poem. Also, the poem is focused on the concepts of dying or dead dreams.