Langston Hughes

The instructor said,

Go home and write
a page tonight.
And let that page come out of you—
Then, it will be true.

I wonder if it’s that simple?
I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem.
I went to school there, then Durham, then here
to this college on the hill above Harlem.
I am the only colored student in my class.
**
It’s not easy to know what is true for you or me
at twenty-two, my age. But I guess I’m what
I feel and see and hear, Harlem, I hear you:
hear you, hear me—we two—you, me, talk on this page.
(I hear New York, too.) Me—who?
Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love.
I like to work, read, learn, and understand life.

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1 Response to Langston Hughes

  1. shinichi says:

    Theme for English B

    by Langston Hughes

    https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/theme-english-b

    **

    The instructor said,

    Go home and write
    a page tonight.
    And let that page come out of you—
    Then, it will be true.

    I wonder if it’s that simple?
    I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem.
    I went to school there, then Durham, then here
    to this college on the hill above Harlem.
    I am the only colored student in my class.
    The steps from the hill lead down into Harlem,
    through a park, then I cross St. Nicholas,
    Eighth Avenue, Seventh, and I come to the Y,
    the Harlem Branch Y, where I take the elevator
    up to my room, sit down, and write this page:

    It’s not easy to know what is true for you or me
    at twenty-two, my age. But I guess I’m what
    I feel and see and hear, Harlem, I hear you:
    hear you, hear me—we two—you, me, talk on this page.
    (I hear New York, too.) Me—who?
    Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love.
    I like to work, read, learn, and understand life.
    I like a pipe for a Christmas present,
    or records—Bessie, bop, or Bach.
    I guess being colored doesn’t make me not like
    the same things other folks like who are other races.
    So will my page be colored that I write?

    Being me, it will not be white.
    But it will be
    a part of you, instructor.
    You are white—
    yet a part of me, as I am a part of you.
    That’s American.
    Sometimes perhaps you don’t want to be a part of me.
    Nor do I often want to be a part of you.
    But we are, that’s true!
    As I learn from you,
    I guess you learn from me—
    although you’re older—and white—
    and somewhat more free.

    This is my page for English B.

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