celebrating inclusive beauty since 2009

Friday, April 22, 2011

a poem for thought-langston hughes

if i had a choice of what time period i could go back and take part in, it would be a stiff competition between the rebellious sixties and the roaring twenties harlem renaissance era.  but for this post, lets go with the latter.  and if i had the choice of who i would want to hang out with during the harlem r., it would be zora neale hurston, madam c.j. walker and langston hughes.  langston was the cool cat of the times.  he made being black en vogue.  in fact, these talented trendsetters made harlem THE place to be.  i can see myself now, dressed to the nines in my flapper dress, cute hat, and fingerwaved bob, pontificating on race relations in america across the table from mr. hughes in his spiffy suit at a blues set.  later, we'd head over to one of those rent parties to dance and eat. 
ok... i got a little carried away with my dream sequence.  the point is langston hughes was one of our greatest and most respected poet/writers.  and he went to my alma mater.  #lincoln love  enjoy one of his most celebrated works "mother to son."

Mother to Son by Langston Hughes

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—
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.

                                                                    besos jenna pearle*


Anonymous said...

Not that I don't love and admire Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes but really Paul Robeson always gets overlooked and he was such a renaissance man and BRILLIANT!

jenna pearle said...

agreed; not familiar with anything robeson wrote but i know he was huge in terms of civil rights. from that era, countee cullen and claude mckay are also great poets. :}