Where Are You Langston Hughes?

Where Are You Langston Hughes?

It is in these moments
that I look for you
I struggle desperately
trying to understand
what is going on around me
I am confused and I am hurt
The pain I feel
at the atrocities I witness
leave me gasping for air
I need you to help me
You have seen much worse
in your life
You have suffered the hatred
cast upon you
and lived with the bigotry
When I am with you in Harlem
I am comforted
Looking deep into your knowing eyes
and down to your soul
You have honed the skill 
of forgiveness 
Which I do not have
and unsure if I ever will
You live in this ugly world
You face your critics and the racists
yet you are never fazed
Showing those who would do you harm
that you are always the better person 
Please teach me how
to use my words as you did
Wrapping up the hatred
and indifference in poetic verse 
I want to learn from the strength
you found by sharing with the world
how to rise up above this horror
By knowing your worth
in times of adversity
That we might also feel your pain
and soothe our own
Show me, I beg you
I want to understand
I must be released
I too, am America


Copyright © 2021 Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing
All Rights Reserved


Laura Bloomsbury is hosting D’Verse Poets tonight and has prompted us to choose a favorite poet and either write about him or her or write to them directly in the first person.  One of my favorite poets is Langston Hughes.
A Harlem Renaissance poet of the 1920s whose poetry resonates with me on so many levels. The last line of my poem is from his poem "I, too"
Read about him at the Poetry Foundation

  55 comments for “Where Are You Langston Hughes?

  1. May 29, 2021 at 12:21 am

    What a powerful use of Hughes’s line!

    • Christine Bolton
      May 29, 2021 at 9:59 am

      Thank you so much. I really appreciate it ☺️💕

  2. May 28, 2021 at 7:14 am

    This is amazing❤️

    • Christine Bolton
      May 28, 2021 at 8:41 am

      Thank you so much 😊

  3. May 25, 2021 at 6:07 am

    I personally love Langston Hughes. Being homeschooled, I read a lot of his poems and it makes me feel so happy to think that people- of any race or color- can be talented and great in their own way.

    I loved this!

    • Christine Bolton
      May 25, 2021 at 7:56 am

      Yes me too. I feel his energy and self throughout his poetry. If was an amazing gift he had 💕

  4. May 23, 2021 at 12:59 am

    Me and my friend is created a whatsapp group for Bloggers where you can learn something new or teach something news.

  5. May 22, 2021 at 7:12 am

    Amazing

    • Christine Bolton
      May 22, 2021 at 8:32 am

      Oh thank you so much ! ☺️🌺

  6. May 21, 2021 at 8:01 pm

    Great Post!

    • Christine Bolton
      May 25, 2021 at 7:55 pm

      Thank you so much. I appreciate it ☺️

  7. May 21, 2021 at 5:35 pm

    What a wonderful photo of Langston Hughes! I did a unit on him when, in 1972 and 1973 I designed an African American Lit class as an English elective in an all white rural Iowa town. Also taught The Autobiography of Malcom X in that class. Students had their eyes opened.
    “Wrapping up the hatred
    and indifference in poetic verse ” This words in your poem are so powerful…..and oh yes….how I would love to sit down and talk with him about all that is happening (still happening) today. I’m currently reading the NY Times Best Sellar Begin Again, a superb book about James Baldwin, juxtaposing his writings with the occurrences of today. It’s excellent.

    • Christine Bolton
      May 21, 2021 at 7:17 pm

      Oh Lillian, good for you! What a wonderful thing to do in a small white rural Iowa town ☺️👍 I absolutely love Langston Hughes and I am really inspired by his life and his writing. My husband is a James Baldwin fan and I think he’s read the book you are talking about. Thank you so much for letting me know you enjoyed my poem. I loved the prompt Laura gave us and I knew immediately who I would choose. ☺️💕🌺

  8. May 21, 2021 at 5:09 pm

    i am in awe of this truly insperational. it is taking me a while to read the poems left on this prompt they are all of a high standard. and they are increasig my reading list with every one i read

    • Christine Bolton
      May 21, 2021 at 5:54 pm

      Thank you! I think this was a wonderful prompt and many of us are reading other poets that have been introduced to us in this way ☺️

      • May 21, 2021 at 6:03 pm

        It was a fab prompt

  9. May 21, 2021 at 7:06 am

    That is lovely christine! Well done! <3

    • Christine Bolton
      May 21, 2021 at 5:24 pm

      I’m so happy you like it ☺️💕🌺

  10. Christine Bolton
    May 20, 2021 at 10:22 am

    Thank you so much. I’m happy you enjoy him too ☺️

  11. May 20, 2021 at 9:48 am

    I have read a small number of Langston Hughes’ works – I have just dug out ‘Drama for Winter Night’ from an old text book and reminded myself. Your poem is a wonderful tribute to him.

    • Christine Bolton
      May 21, 2021 at 5:52 pm

      Thank you so much. I’m happy you enjoy him too ☺️

  12. May 20, 2021 at 5:19 am

    the desperation gave me goosebumps — especially the last two lines. <3

    • Christine Bolton
      May 20, 2021 at 10:21 am

      Thank you ☺️

  13. May 19, 2021 at 4:08 pm

    Christine,
    This is wonderful. In the 5th and 6th grade, we learned the poetry of Langston Hughes, James Weldon Johnson, and Countee Cullen, and others from the Black Renaissance. As a young black girl, I was so proud to learn of these wordsmiths who looked like me. We not only learned the poems, we had to recite them with emotions. I love Langston Hughes’s poem, Mother to Son, which seems to fit my life as a black American even today. Lovely post.

    • Christine Bolton
      May 19, 2021 at 5:15 pm

      I am so happy you liked it Regina. His words have always touched me and in the times we now live in his work has been a source of relief for me and many others I’m sure. I love that he was so proud and knew he was equal to those that would disagree. ❤️

  14. sanaarizvi
    May 19, 2021 at 3:44 pm

    This is incredibly poignant and beautifully worded, Christine. I am in awe 💝💝

    • Christine Bolton
      May 19, 2021 at 4:08 pm

      Thank you Sanaa. I’;m happy youn like it ☺️

  15. May 19, 2021 at 2:52 pm

    I love the conclusion… when in hardship it must be fantastic to have someone as strong as Langton Hughes to lean againt.

    • Christine Bolton
      May 19, 2021 at 3:38 pm

      Thank you. I loved the way he was not scared of these people. He quite rightly regarded himself as just as important a person regardless of his color. I just love his work.

  16. May 19, 2021 at 2:35 pm

    Passionate!

    • Christine Bolton
      May 19, 2021 at 8:09 pm

      Thank you Jane ☺️

  17. May 19, 2021 at 1:05 pm

    Christine, so strong and honest — stunningly poignant. Fine tribute to a powerful presence!

    • Christine Bolton
      May 19, 2021 at 3:39 pm

      You are kind Rob. Thank you. I feel very passionate about the subject and always want to be in the other persons shoes.

  18. May 19, 2021 at 12:45 pm

    These lines … I want to understand .. I must be released .. I too, am America ~~~ chills all over. I love his poetry.

    • Christine Bolton
      May 19, 2021 at 3:40 pm

      Thank you Helen. His work is wonderful. ☺️

  19. May 19, 2021 at 11:12 am

    This is just wonderful Christine!

    ‘I want to learn from the strength
    you found by sharing with the world
    how to rise up above this horror
    By knowing your worth’

    – what an important and difficult lesson to learn. And I feel your gratitude in your words that Hughes had the courage to share this. I am getting quite emotional reading all of these poetic tributes!

    • Christine Bolton
      May 19, 2021 at 3:43 pm

      Yes, I know what you mean. I have been reading them all and it is clear that we have inspired by our favorite poets. The passion is showing in our words. Whenever you read a Martin Luther Kings Jr. speech it has the same effect. Thank you Ingrid ☺️💕

  20. May 19, 2021 at 5:11 am

    This poem is a wonderful plea to imbibe the poet as poet and strong abiding spirit – very heartfelt

    • Christine Bolton
      May 19, 2021 at 8:49 am

      Thank you Laura ☺️

  21. May 19, 2021 at 4:51 am

    I totally second RothPoetry’s comments above. A beautiful honest poem <3

    • Christine Bolton
      May 19, 2021 at 8:07 pm

      Thank you Sunra ☺️

  22. May 19, 2021 at 4:19 am

    Powerful plea to a wonderful poet who wrote amidst such hate passionate words of love for his country and for all people. It is clear you are doing what you seek to do in this poem here.

    • Christine Bolton
      May 19, 2021 at 8:47 am

      Thank you so much. I appreciate it ☺️💕

  23. May 19, 2021 at 3:01 am

    Please teach me how
    to use my words as you did
    Wrapping up the hatred
    and indifference in poetic verse

    Christine – Christine – Christine – WOW.

    -David

    • Christine Bolton
      May 19, 2021 at 8:44 am

      Thanks David. I appreciate it so much ☺️

  24. May 19, 2021 at 12:26 am

    Beautiful channeling of a wise spirit, Christine.

    • Christine Bolton
      May 19, 2021 at 8:43 am

      Thanks :Lisa ☺️

      • May 19, 2021 at 9:36 am

        You’re welcome 🙂

  25. May 18, 2021 at 10:52 pm

    I really like how you call on you poet you admire for direction and strength, knowing that he had seen it all before!
    By knowing your worth
    in times of adversity
    That we might also feel your pain
    and soothe our own

    • Christine Bolton
      May 18, 2021 at 11:43 pm

      Thank you Dwight ☺️

  26. May 18, 2021 at 10:29 pm

    This is so beautiful and poignant. Wow!

    • Christine Bolton
      May 18, 2021 at 11:18 pm

      Thank you so much Lucy 💕☺️ I really appreciate it.

  27. May 18, 2021 at 9:52 pm

    An amazing poem

    • Christine Bolton
      May 18, 2021 at 11:16 pm

      Thank you Sadje. It just flowed from me tonight ☺️💕

      • May 19, 2021 at 12:07 am

        It’s a pleasure.

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