The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes

The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes

Paperback(1st Vintage classics ed)

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"The ultimate book for both the dabbler and serious scholar—. [Hughes] is sumptuous and sharp, playful and sparse, grounded in an earthy music—. This book is a glorious revelation."—Boston Globe

Spanning five decades and comprising 868 poems (nearly 300 of which have never before appeared in book form), this magnificent volume is the definitive sampling of a writer who has been called the poet laureate of African America—and perhaps our greatest popular poet since Walt Whitman.  Here, for the first time, are all the poems that Langston Hughes published during his lifetime, arranged in the general order in which he wrote them and annotated by Arnold Rampersad and David Roessel.

Alongside such famous works as "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" and Montage of a Dream Deferred, The Collected Poems includes the author's lesser-known verse for children; topical poems distributed through the Associated Negro Press; and poems such as "Goodbye Christ" that were once suppressed.  Lyrical and pungent, passionate and polemical, the result is a treasure of a book, the essential collection of a poet whose words have entered our common language.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780679764083
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/28/1995
Series: Vintage Classics Series
Edition description: 1st Vintage classics ed
Pages: 736
Sales rank: 69,407
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.80(d)
Lexile: NP (what's this?)

About the Author

Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri, in 1902.  After graduation from high school, he spent a year in Mexico with his father, then a year studying at Columbia University.  His first poem in a nationally known magazine was "The Negro Speaks of Rivers," which appeared in Crisis in 1921.  In 1925, he was awarded the First Prize for Poetry of the magazine Opportunity, the winning poem being "The Weary Blues," which gave its title to his first book of poems, published in 1926.  As a result of his poetry, Mr. Hughes received a scholarship at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, where he won his B.A. in 1929.  In 1943, he was awarded an honorary Litt.D. by his alma mater; he has also been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship (1935), a Rosenwald Fellowship (1940), and an American Academy of Arts and Letters Grant (1947).  From 1926 until his death in 1967, Langston Hughes devoted his time to writing and lecturing.  He wrote poetry, short stories, autobiography, song lyrics, essays, humor, and plays.  A cross section of his work was published in 1958 as The Langston Hughes Reader.

Read an Excerpt

Juke Box Love Song

I could take the Harlem night and wrap around you,
Take the neon lights and make a crown,
Take the Lenox Avenue busses,
Taxis, subways,
And for your love song tone their rumble down.
Take Harlem's heartbeat,
Make a drumbeat,
Put it on a record, let it whirl,
And while we listen to it play,
Dance with you till day—
Dance with you, my sweet brown Harlem girl.

Table of Contents

A Chronology of the Life of Langston Hughes8
The Poems of Langston Hughes
Poems 1921-193021
Poems 1931-1940133
Poems 1941-1950223
Poems 1951-1960377
Poems 1961-1967471
Appendix 1Poems Circulated by the Associated Negro Press563
Appendix 2Poetry for Children595
Appendix 3Additional Poems611
Notes to the Poems619
Index of First Lines697
Index of Titles707

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The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Langston Hughes has been my favorite poet since i was younger!I am only 13 but i love poety espically by Langston Hughes His Poem Dreams really inspired me the most..Hold fat unto you Dreams...
Guest More than 1 year ago
Some people can pick up and write poetry.But without meaning the words which they write are nothing.But heart and soul woven together create the poems which langston Hughes writes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am in constant awe of the words penned by Mr. Hughes. His works remain the catalyst for my writing career. He inspies me to write, and to be true in my words. I can never fill his shoes, but I gladly and humbly follow in his footsteps.
ostrom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of my most favorite collections of poetry. Rampersad and Roessel did a great job.
HHS-Students on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Marshaye (Class of 2010)This is a book full of different poems that Langston Hughes wrote out his life. There a lot of poems you can relate to or just enjoy.
whitewavedarling on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is probably my favorite collected collection of poetry. As a whole, Hughes' work is more worthwhile and musical than any other poet I can think of, and is capable of working on the most inexperienced reader of poetry just as much as the more experienced reader. I believe anyone can find something they'll love in this book, and will have to be touched by his words and thoughts, as well as the jazz that floats throughout the whole collection. Absolutely worthwhile to add to any collection.
beau.p.laurence on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
hughes was one of the best poets of 20th century America. he combined Black slang, poetic form, and biting social commentary. an important person to have read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've been a fan of Langston Hughes for a while now. The poems in this book are ones that I have read personally for years. Reading Hughes' poems it brings you back to the heart and soul of the time where he lived.  Langston predominately wrote about the hardships or what was happening during the Harlem Renaissance.  His poems are a favorite of many because it can relate to pretty much anyone. His poem Harlem could be referred to a person’s dream. He compares a dream to a raisin because a raisin is dried and shriveled up like how a dream could be if left if someone does not act upon it.  Though his subjects are still relatable now, they were made to depict the low-life that Langston knew. Langston knew that being a black was tough. So he wrote about it in a way that not just blacks could understand. His poems portrayed struggle, joy, laughter, and music. Langston had no boundaries of what he wrote about. Writing about dreams or stereotypes were not a problem for Langston. Since he was one of the few prominent black writers he was an inspiration for many other writers and even artists.  
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ltown05 More than 1 year ago
Langston Hughes has been a long time favorite of mine. This book evokes memories of days gone by and the innocence that I have lost since then.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Leads to those that can only acknowledge of which was. I true lover of Langston Hughes'work, I can only say you can only become enriched from reading this book and no other one will stand up to the style of composition that comes through. I could only wish other poets of this age could begin to unfold in such beauty as he has. In his time of limitations he seemed to make presentation limitless.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Words cannot begin to express how incredibly talented this man is. This collection of his poems is skillfully put together. There is a poem for every human emotion possible. It is a beautiful guide throught the history of black American life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just have one thing to say: Brilliant!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Langston is one of my favorite poets ever. His words or just the greatest. He really opens himself you and you can really feel what he is writing and what was going on. He was the first poet I really got into and like b/c before I never really liked poety. He just inspiered me in some weird way. I think he is the best.