Thursday, April 3, 2014

The power of poetry - #NatPoMo

Langston Hughes is one of my favorite poets. His words are so simple but they strike such a chord. I can't pick just one of his poems as my favorite because I love so many, but this one stands out thanks to a student who performed it one year in my class. He was painfully shy and hardly ever spoke, but when it was his turn to perform a poem from memory, he got up and gave a quiet, gentle, yet convincing rendition of this Langston Hughes poem. Despite his shyness, I still remember the courage I felt from him in that performance as he looked every one of his classmates in the eye. I get chills just thinking about it.

Dream Variations

To fling my arms wide
In some place of the sun,
To whirl and to dance
Till the white day is done.
Then rest at cool evening
Beneath a tall tree
While night comes on gently,
Dark like me—
That is my dream!

To fling my arms wide
In the face of the sun,
Dance! Whirl! Whirl!
Till the quick day is done.
Rest at pale evening . . .
A tall, slim tree . . .
Night coming tenderly
Black like me.

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