Hughes Blues

Unsurprisingly, I don’t dream, or rather remember my dreams, enough to consistently write dream poems. But since I’m in poetry kick at the moment, I guess I’ll share a few of Langston Hughes poems with a dream theme. These always got me thinking my dreams and aspirations in life and helped me see them through a more objective lenses, but also helped me hold onto them with a firm grip. I hope they’ll do the same for you!

Side note: The play “A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry is pretty fantastic and I highly recommend it if you want a quick read, especially if you want some more dream theme good stuff. The title comes from Hughes’ poem “Harlem” which you’ll find in this quick selection of poems.


Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dream
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

Dream Boogie

Good morning, daddy!
Ain’t you heard
The boogie-woogie rumble
Of a dream deferred?

Listen closely:
You’ll hear their feet
Beating out and beating out a—

You thinking
It’s a happy beat?

Listen to it closely:
Ain’t you heard
something underneath
like a—

What did I say?

I’m happy!
Take it away!

         Hey, pop!



What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

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