My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
The Beginnings of Culture: His voice has defined and influenced his own age as well as the following centuries, imposing new artistic values in the literary world.
Hughes is considered to be one of the leading voices of the Harlem Renaissance, the literary movement which aimed at the revival and assertion of the African American culture and its traditions. Naturally, his works are filled with African folklore and important cultural motifs, following the rhythms of the native tradition.
In his poems, Hughes gives voice to the African American spirit in the same manner that Whitman sang the spirit of the New World. His work was equally influenced by his own life experience, the historical background through which he lived and naturally by his sense of belonging to the African American tradition.
We will write a custom essay sample on The Beginnings of Culture: As it shall be seen, the poem incorporates many themes and symbols, despite its brevity and apparent simplicity.
The river symbol in the text lends itself to several different interpretations. First of all, the poem reaches far back in time, to the roots of the black culture. The river valleys are associated with the beginnings of culture, since the ancient people gathered around their banks, in need of a good source of water.
The ever flowing, restless rivers are a symbol of continuation of black culture through time. As Cary Wintz observes, Hughes makes an analogy here between the rivers he has known at home, in America, and the ancient rivers where his race was actually born: The direct analogy between the rivers and the blood flow in the human veins points to the close connection between these places and the people that inhabited them: My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
The poem unmasks the falsity of the premises the white race usually used in order to oppress and dominate the black race. It takes on an almost mythological perspective, peering into the soul of the black culture and its ancient roots.
Moreover, the poem points to the specifics of black culture and its close relationship to nature. The rivers and the soul both run deep, connected by a special course. Black culture is based on this symbiosis between the people and the rivers, as well as other natural elements.
Instead of merely exploiting them as natural resources, the black people found a kindred spirit in the force and beauty of the rivers.
As such, black culture has mingled its tortuous progress with the flow of the rivers that crossed the land. Hughes effectively confers identity to the black race, seeking its beginnings and showing its endurance. The rivers represent moreover freedom and show that black spirit is and has always been free despite the historical adversity.
The poet recreates therefore the beginnings of his race, emphasizing the fact that the black people have a history which is different from that of slavery.
The black people have left their traces along with the other civilizations, and the deep rivers have witnessed their beginning. Like every other culture, the black culture had its cradle on the banks of these waters.
As an African American, Hughes announces the legacy left by the ancient black people to the generations to come. The poem alludes to the necessity of reviving the essence of black culture and of creating a group consciousness for the black people.
With a vision as broad at that of Walt Whitman, Hughes encompasses the streaming of the rivers as part of the souls of the black people. What is significant however is that the river symbolism has another meaning as well.
Hughes envisions first the Euphrates that saw the dawn of civilization, then the Congo and the Nile, and finally the Mississippi.
While the Euphrates, Congo and Nile express the long and deep tradition of the black people, the Mississippi points to the more recent African American history.
|Poem Analysis of “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” by Langston Hughes||Despite Hughes's relative lack of real-world experience, the work embodies a wisdom and cultural awareness far beyond the poet's years.|
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|The Negro Speaks of Rivers Book Review||Both of Hughes' paternal great-grandmothers were enslaved African Americans and both of his paternal great-grandfathers were white slave owners in Kentucky.|
|Downloading prezi...||Websites 1 Introduction Hughes had always been a part of small black communities, to whom he was strongly attached Black Renaissance Reader He felt a strong racial pride, although his father, according to Hughes, hated himself for being black and although Hughes experienced constantly the vilest forms of discrimination St.|
|Pagination||Bluess and Jazz flourished throughout the streets of New York, and immature black creative person began to originate an of import portion of this epoch had to be the inspirational Hagiographas of Mr. Born in Joplin, Missouri, Hughes was raised by his grandma after his parents had divorced.|
The black culture is as old and deep as the rivers but its history of oppression is also very old.The poem 'The Negro Speaks of Rivers' by African-American poet Langston Hughes means that rivers, with their ancient paths and slow but constant movement toward something larger, are very much like humans' progress forward.
The Poem Negro by Langston Hughes Words 3 Pages The poem “Negro” was written by Langston Hughes in where it was a time of African American development and the birth of the Civil Rights Movement. “the negro speaks of rivers” (hughes ) The title of this study is taken from the poem written by Langston Hughes in “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” was the first of many of his poems published in .
The Negro Speaks of Rivers – Langston Hughes. Leave a reply. Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip.
read by Langston Hughes.
audio from Poetry Speaks to Children. I’ve known rivers: I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins. Although Hughes did not technically write "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" in or about Harlem, he addresses themes that would later become closely associated with the Harlem Renaissance.
Hughes dedicated this poem to W.E.B. DuBois a few years after its initial publication.
Analysis of Langston Hughes Poetry. Steven R. Goodman AASP England May 5, Reaction #2 Langston Hughes Poetry A Literary Analysis of “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” The Harlem Renaissance can be considered as “the cultural boom” in African-American history.
Spanning from the s into the mids, the Harlem Renaissance was an apex in African-American intellectualism.