Madeline's Reviews > The Collected Poems

The Collected Poems by Langston Hughes
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
May 08, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: assigned-reading, poetry
Read in April, 2010

Awesome and passionate and stirring and lovely, all in ways a 21st century Midwestern white girl probably isn't fully qualified to appreciate.


That Justice is a blind goddess
Is a thing to which we black are wise:
Her bandage hides two festering sores
That once perhaps were eyes."

"The Negro Speaks of Rivers

I've known rivers:
I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
flow of human blood in human rivers
My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln
went down to New Orleans, and I've seen its muddy
bosom turn all golden in the sunset

I've known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers."


I sat there singing her
Songs in the dark.

She said;
'I do not understand
The words'.

I said;
'There are
No words'."

Read for: Modern Poetry
20 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Collected Poems.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

05/23/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Sandi (new)

Sandi Langston Hughes is one of his middle-aged white woman's favorite poets. There's so much power in his words. I especially love the one with the line "I too sing America."

message 2: by Elizabeth☮ (new)

Elizabeth☮ madeline,

i love langston hughes. i just got a picture book of The Negro Speaks of Rivers for my daughter.

i teach him with the poets and writers of the Harlem Renaissance.

message 3: by Marichee (new) - added it

Marichee I was raised by a father who insisted that certain books must grace the bookshelf of his home. This book was one of them.

And it bares reading over and over again.

back to top