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The Dream Keeper and Other Poems

4.32  ·  Rating Details ·  722 Ratings  ·  100 Reviews
"HOLD FAST TO DREAMS / For if dreams die / Life is a broken-winged bird / That cannot fly."

The Dream Keeper, the great African-American writer Langston Hughes's only collection of poems for children, includes some of his best loved works. It is being reissued in a handsome hardcover edition in celebration of its 75th anniversary. Filled with elegant scratchboard illustrati
Hardcover, 75th Anniversary Edition, 96 pages
Published November 13th 2007 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published December 1st 1996)
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I thought it was very confusing and barely knew what was going on throughout the whole book. But it was a pretty good book for poetry. It was very happy at some points and very dark at other points.
This book first appeared in 1932. It is still a great read for all ages today. Langston Hughes made a huge impact on my life because he was anthologized often in my literature books.

Here is a famous one:


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

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

There is often a simple beauty:


I loved my friend.
He went away from me.
There's nothing more to say.
The poem ends,
Kimber Carnahan
Feb 15, 2012 Kimber Carnahan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eced-221
In "The Dream Keeper and Other Poems," Langston Hughes captures the reader's attention automatically with his delicate prose and imagery. Every poem is different, but all hold a link to a view of the African American culture that Hughes tried so hard to educate people about. Every poem is beautiful, some are funny, and some cause the reader to think. It's a great collection that I would highly recommend.
The book expands awareness of a culture and time that children today may not know much about.
Jan 27, 2011 Kayla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, reviewed
This was my favorite poetry book when I was little. I must have checked it out at least six times from my elementary school library. "Hold Fast to Dreams" was the first poem I had ever memorized (just called "Dreams" in this edition) and was asked to recite in front of my 3rd grade class. There are many poems in this collection that will always hold special memories for me (particularly those in the Dream Keeper section).

"Hold Fast to Dreams"

Hold fast to dreams
for if dreams die
life is a broken-w
Tori Johnson
Mar 30, 2012 Tori Johnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In sixth grade, my teacher gave me The Dream Keeper and Other Poems. It was the first book of poetry I ever owned. It was the perfect first. Paperback, and easy to carry around in my backpack, or keep in the car. Full of rhythmic poems that pounded through my head. Metaphors, allusions, social commentary that I thought I understood. And each time I read it and understood more, I realized how much I did not know. It contains the first poem I ever read out loud, Alabama Earth. Still I can hear the ...more
This book was good, and it was interesting to read the songs that the African Americans would sing, and how the author incorporated in some of the poems. I would recommend this book to people who like to read poems.
Mohamed  AL-saqqa
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow
Anastasja Kostic
Jul 09, 2015 Anastasja Kostic rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, classics
The calm,
Cool face of the river
Asked me for a kiss.
Mar 21, 2012 Morgan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This short (80 page) collection is a great selection for those who don't read a lot of poetry. Langston Hughes is a favorite poet of many because his poetry is so accessible (though many often overlook the subversive and political undertones of his writing). This would also be a great selection to give a young person who hasn't read much, or any, poetry.

Brian Pinkney illustrated this edition, and his drawings are beautifully rendered, capturing both the spirit of Hughes' poetry and the beauty i
707 Jared
Oct 08, 2012 707 Jared rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jared Ramos 707 The Dream Keeper by Langston Hughes

In my eyes the author a person who think of what other people wouldn't think of, Langston Hughes thinks what's about what's going to happen next,he doesn't think of the negative he thinks positive, Langston Hughes thinks outside the box.

The post-it I wrote said "the author is trying to say, there is always something larking right around the corner". I said that because the way that poem was written there was always something else right after
Meg Stolte
May 10, 2014 Meg Stolte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poems
Langston Hughes’ “The Dream Keeper and Other Poems” is a collection of poems expressing emotions and celebrating African American life. While some of the poems rhyme, many do not, so this would be a helpful collection to use when teaching older students the purpose of poems (which isn’t always just to rhyme!). I would likely use these poems with upper elementary, grades 3-6, to teach different aspects of imagery and metaphors. This could also be used in conjunction with social studies lessons ab ...more
Cara Byrne
Nov 19, 2015 Cara Byrne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Hughes' first collection of poetry for young readers, he offers poems about the natural world, broken hearts, and quiet girls. It's a nice collection with brief poems that capture the subjects that Hughes was most invested in during the period, though with a subtler political edge. In this contemporary addition of Hughes' first picture book includes Pinkney's beautiful black and white relief illustrations, updating the original illustrations that largely presented adults with beautiful sketch ...more
Feb 21, 2017 Ninamarie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
Poems for young people celebrating the Black American experience. Focus on achieving and maintaining ones dreams.
Feb 04, 2017 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Lovely lovely lovely.
Cadi Weaver
Jan 15, 2017 Cadi Weaver rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful poems, artwork and layout!
Oct 08, 2016 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I really enjoyed this book of poetry. My mother read many of them to my brothers and I when we were little, so there is some nostalgia involved. My favorite this time through was Aunt Sue's Stories. It's poignant and sweet, and reminds the reader of the value of learning from those real-life experiences. I know when my mom and dad or grandparents told us stories from their own lives, we were entranced.

Aunt Sue's Stories

And the dark-faced child, listening,
Knows that Aunt Sue's stories are real st
Jul 18, 2015 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ra-shortlist
From my History of Children's Literature class:

I guess I have been in an historical mood, because this week I chose another older classic, The Dream Keeper and Other Poems, by Langston Hughes. This book was originally published in 1932, but the particular edition that I had was published in 1994, and contains scratchboard illustrations by Brian Pinkney (see an example in the cover art). This collection of poems has not won any awards, but in my opinion, it would be totally deserving!
The poems ar
Susan Plake
Jan 16, 2017 Susan Plake rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've always been enthralled with the Harlem renaissance poets and know-its and when I saw on Book outlet it reached out to me and said now is the time. I can't imagine the era or challenges posed, but Langston Hughes gives from his heart.
Amanda Kroeschel
I remember reading "Poem" in a handwriting workbook in 2nd grade and loved it and remembered it and finally got this scholastic book. Why was that poem in a 2nd grade handwriting book?
Andrew Childers
I thoroughly enjoy Langston Hughes' clear and concise poetry. He says what he needs to say and moves on - that's my preferred style. In this book, he writes about dreams, beauty in blackness (I liked "Winter Sweetness"), and contrasts of internal and external life (see "Dressed Up" and "Minstrel Man"). Two poems of his, I've read before ("I, Too" and "Mother to Son"); both still invite me to experience, however distantly, those who struggle in ways I don't understand. I look forward to reading m ...more
Aug 30, 2015 Dolly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their older children
This is a wonderful collection of poems by Langston Hughes. The poems are broken up into different sections, including The Dream Keeper, Sea Charm, Dressed Up, Feet O'Jesus, Walkers with the Dawn, as well as Additional Poems, which includes seven poems that "seem especially appropriate for children."

The poetry has an emotional depth that many children may not truly empathize with, but can appreciate. I really liked the explanation on Blues, contrasting the Negro folk songs with spirituals.

And I
Alex Tierney
The Dream Keeper and Other Poems was a collection of poems written by the author. There were different sections in the book that had certain types of poems. There was no story or plot in the book because there were all different kinds of poems. Each section however had the same theme.
Some of the poems in the book rhymed and some did not. There were many poems that were simpler rhymes and others that had more complicated rhyming schemes. The poems that did rhyme were consistent so that the child
Lauren Gibson
Feb 07, 2012 Lauren Gibson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eced-221
I read The Dream Keeper and other poems by Langston Hughes.
SUMMARY: It was about mostly african americans and the early struggles they had to undergo in life, and racial issues. There were also many poems about nature and religion (which i think could be controversial). The author is obviously very religious and has a very good sense of culture and patriotism to his people.
CRITIQUE: There were a few poems that had a rhyming element but not many, there were more poems that had word repeats at t
Nov 07, 2012 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the record, I’m no poetry expert. When I read collections from poets I’m making an effort to step outside of my comfort zone and challenge myself, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to enjoy them in the same way a connoisseur of the genre would. There are some poems I love, but as a whole, poetry isn’t something I gravitate towards.

That being said, Hughes is undeniably talented. His poems show a deep pride in his African-American roots and it’s easy to understand why his name has become synony
Clare Wojda
1. Genre - Poetry
2. Awards -
3. Grade Level - 3-4
4. I would read different poems out of this book to my class over a longer period of time. That way they would have more time to mull over one poem at a time. I would also have the book on display in the class so they could pick it up during free time and read from it themselves. During this unit, I would have the students each keep a dream journal. Everyday they would write down dreams from the previous night if they remembered them, along with da
A collection of poems about hope, dreams, and African-American heritage.

This edition includes black and white scratchboard illustrations by Brian Pinkey which add to the dream-like quality of the writing. The movement of the scratched-out white lines stands in contrast to the black background ink. Images are small, generally appearing just above or below a single poem. Some take up an entire adjacent page.

The poems are short, conversational, and down-to-earth, relaying thoughts and feelings abo
This book is about different poems that were written by african-americans. The included dreams and love stories and even wishes. Most of the poems were sorrow kind of but some were happy poems. The poems are very elaborate and shows different peoples mood/perspective.
I can relate this to Amari from Copper Sun because they both included stories about their family, friends, journeys, and freedom. Both had different moods that occurred.The poems and Amari both achieved happiness and love througho
Dec 09, 2009 Stephene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry-books
6th-12th grades
Hughes once again astounds the reader with his powerful and eloquent language. Pinkney's scratchboard pencil illustrations bring the characters in Hughes' poems to life and add depth and character to the already human/character defining language. Young readers will be inspired by the pieces and see the journey African-Americans have traveled to be in the place they are today. Text is rich but approachable for middle schoolers and the messages of strength, passional and survival ar
Sydney Hall
I picked this poetry book because of the variety within the book. Langston Hughes was a very famous black poet, artist and musician. He contributed greatly to the Harlem Renaissance in the 1930's. This book includes a collection of some of his most famous poems. A few of my favorites that I read were: "Dreams", "Joy" and "When Sue Wears Red." I think that doing a study of Langston Hughes would be a great way to incorporate multiple points of diversity. For example: African-American poetry, it br ...more
Sep 29, 2009 Justin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I Loved this book it was just kind of a collaboration of a few of langston hughes's poems alot of the poems were very bluesy though like very depressing about lost love,broke,kids and wife left there were just alot of things that were causing people problems back in that time era.

The Dream Keeper
Bring me all of your dreams,
You dreamer,
Bring me all your
Heart melodies
That I may wrap them
In a blue cloud-cloth
Away from the too-rough fingers
Of the world. langston hughes.
That was my favorite poem of
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Langston Hughes was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, short story writer, and columnist. He was one of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form jazz poetry. Hughes is best known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance. He famously wrote about the period that "Harlem was in vogue."
More about Langston Hughes...

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The Dream Keeper

Bring me all of your dreams,
You dreamer,
Bring me all your
Heart melodies
That I may wrap them
In a blue cloud-cloth
Away from the too-rough fingers
Of the world.”
“Quiet Girl

I would liken you
To a night without stars
Were it not for your eyes.
I would liken you
To a sleep without dreams
Were it not for your songs.”
More quotes…