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Langston Hughes Kirsten Avery Period 9 May 20, 2009 English 9 Anthology of the Famous…..

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Presentation on theme: "Langston Hughes Kirsten Avery Period 9 May 20, 2009 English 9 Anthology of the Famous….."— Presentation transcript:

1 Langston Hughes Kirsten Avery Period 9 May 20, 2009 English 9 Anthology of the Famous…..

2 Table of Contents…. Preface/Biography……………...slide 3-6 Introduction to Poems………….slide 7 Poem 1- April Rain Song………slide 8 Poem 2- As I Grew Older………slide 9 Poem 3-Life if Fine………………slide 10 Poem 4-Mother to Son…….……slide 11 Poem 5-Dream Variations ……..slide 12 Glossary…………………….……slide 13 Interpretation/Opinion………….slide 14

3 Preface-Biography Langston Hughes was born James Langston Hughes. He was one of the most important writers of the Harlem Renaissance. He motivated many people of his time. His birth date is February 1, He was born in Joplin, Missouri. His parents divorced when he was a young child, and then his father moved to Mexico. Hughes attended Central High School in Cleveland, Ohio, but began writing poetry in the eighth grade. His grandmother raised him till he was about thirteen. After that he decided to move to Lincoln, Illinois, to live with his mother and her husband.

4 Preface-Biography Continued… It was in Lincoln, Illinois, that Hughes began writing poetry. Following his graduation, he spent a year in Mexico and a year at Columbia University. During this time, he toke odd jobs such as an assistant cook, launderer, and a busboy. Later he traveled to Africa and Europe working as a seaman. In November 1924, he moved to Washington, D.C. There Hughes's wrote his first book of poetry The Weary Blues. It was published by Alfred A. Knopf in He finished his college education at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania.

5 Preface-Biography Continued 2... In 1930 his first novel Not Without Laughter won a Harmon gold medal for literature. He wrote many novels, short stories, plays, and as well as poetry. He is also known for his engagement with the world of jazz and the influence it had on his writing. Some of Hughes' autobiographies include, Not Without Laughter, The Big Sea, I Wonder As I Wander. His collections of poetry include The Weary Blues, The Negro Mother and other Dramatic Recitations, The Dream Keeper, Shakespeare In Harlem, Fields of Wonder, One Way Ticket, The First Book of Jazz, Tambourines To Glory,Selected Poems, The Best of Simple.

6 Preface-Biography Continued 3... Langston Hughes died of complications from prostate cancer May 22, He died in New York. He was given a landmark status by the New York City Preservation Commission, and has been renamed as the "Langston Hughes Place." This is a special way for us to remember his great contributions to the poetry world. He will always be remembered as a great black poet. Hughes was also one of the most important writers and thinkers of the Harlem Renaissance. He had a very creative way of coming up with his materials and writings. All of his works promoted equality, condemned racism, and celebrated the whole culture of being African American.

7 Introduction To Poems Poem 1 is called April Rain Song. This poem is about the wonders of the rain. The things the rain can do. How it feels and looks and falls. Poem 2 is called As I Grew Older. This poem is about the author. He’s writing about his dreams. Poem 3 is called Life is Fine. This poem is about the finer things of life. He is explaining all the things he enjoys in life. Poem 4 is called Mother to Son. This poem is a mother telling her son what to be aware about in life. Saying how it’s not always easy. Poem 5 Dream Variations. This poem is about the authors dream. What he wishes to do.

8 April Rain Song Let the rain kiss you Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops Let the rain sing you a lullaby The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk The rain makes running pools in the gutter The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night And I love the rain.

9 As I Grew Older It was a long time ago. I have almost forgotten my dream. But it was there then, In front of me, Bright like a sun-- My dream. And then the wall rose, Rose slowly, Slowly, Between me and my dream. Rose until it touched the sky-- The wall. Shadow. I am black. I lie down in the shadow. No longer the light of my dream before me, Above me. Only the thick wall. Only the shadow. My hands! My dark hands! Break through the wall! Find my dream! Help me to shatter this darkness, To smash this night, To break this shadow Into a thousand lights of sun, Into a thousand whirling dreams Of sun!

10 Life is Fine I went down to the river, I set down on the bank. I tried to think but couldn't, So I jumped in and sank. I came up once and hollered! I came up twice and cried! If that water hadn't a-been so cold I might've sunk and died. But it was Cold in that water! It was cold! I took the elevator Sixteen floors above the ground. I thought about my baby And thought I would jump down. I stood there and I hollered! I stood there and I cried! If it hadn't a-been so high I might've jumped and died. But it was High up there! It was high! So since I'm still here livin', I guess I will live on. I could've died for love-- But for livin' I was born Though you may hear me holler, And you may see me cry-- I'll be dogged, sweet baby, If you gonna see me die. Life is fine! Fine as wine! Life is fine!

11 Mother to Son Well, son, I'll tell you: Life for me ain't been no crystal stair. It's had tacks in it, And splinters, And boards torn up, And places with no carpet on the floor— Bare. But all the time I'se been a-climbin' on, And reachin' landin's, And turnin' corners, And sometimes goin' in the dark Where there ain't been no light. So, boy, don't you turn back. Don't you set down on the steps. 'Cause you finds it's kinder hard. Don't you fall now— For I'se still goin', honey, I'se still climbin', And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.

12 Dream Variations To fling my arms wide In some place of the sun, To whirl and to dance Till the white day is done. Then rest at cool evening Beneath a tall tree While night comes on gently, Dark like me- That is my dream! To fling my arms wide In the face of the sun, Dance! Whirl! Whirl! Till the quick day is done. Rest at pale evening... A tall, slim tree... Night coming tenderly Black like me.

13 Glossary 1. Shatter verb. to cause to drop or be dispersed 2. Bank noun. a mound, pile, or ridge raised above the surrounding level 3. Dogged adj. marked by stubborn determination 4. Whirl verb. to move in a circle or similar curve especially with force or speed 5. Lullaby noun. a soothing refrain 6. Tacks verb. Attach 7. Kinder adj. Affectionate, loving 8. Fling verb. to move in a brusque or headlong manner 9. Pale noun. Palisade,paling 10. Gutter noun. a trough along the eaves to catch and carry off rainwater

14 My Interpretation/Opinion I believe Langston Hughes is a very good poet. His poems are good examples of poetry for his time. Him being one of the best poets of his time and such a creative mind is what makes his poems and work so distinct from others. His poems are good and explain a lot of his thoughts. Hughes talks about some of the better things in life. The things that we don’t realize our some of the best things in life. His writing is pure and beautiful. He is a great roll model for anyone who is looking into becoming a poet. I would read any of his poems. Other people should read his poems to. This is what I think of Langston Hughes.


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