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Books – Collected Works of Langston Hughes

It is sensational to read a book so much that the pages are bent and the corners are worn out.

Each Sensational Saturday throughout the month of November I have been sharing my favorite books of all time. I have shared the Bible, and The Bourne Identity. Next week, I will be sharing Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon. I am a bookaholic. I love to read and carry books with me everywhere I go. I still think one of the best things my husband ever did was give me the Kindle 3G. Now I carry more than 3,000 books in my purse at all times.

Sensational Saturday, Langston Hughes, poem, read, favorite, learn

This week is all about my favorite poet, Langston Hughes and the book, The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes. My husband bought me this paperback volume about ten years as a birthday gift and I have read it so much it is getting a little thread bare. I have been a Langston Hughes fan since I was a young child. I like his books as well as his poems. He is my all time favorite author. If anyone wants to get me in a good mood, pull out some Langston Hughes verses and I will melt in you hands. My husband just has to mention some of my favorite Langston lines and I turn to putty in his hands.

I do not have the space to share all of my favorite poems, so I will just share a few lines from a few of my favorite poems. Sit back, relax and enjoy these beautiful words.

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Sensational Saturday, Langston Hughes, poem, read, favorite, learn

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!

I like this one because of the freedom and imagery of flinging arms, dancing with wild abandon and then being enveloped by my friend, the night.

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Sensational Saturday, Langston Hughes, poem. read, favorite, learn

Negro Speaks of 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

 . . .

 My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

I like this one because it paints such a beautiful picture in my mind.

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Sensational Saturday, Langston Hughes, poem, favorite, learn, read

I, Too

I, too, sing America.

 I am the darker brother.

They send me to eat in the kitchen

When company comes,

But I laugh,

And eat well,

And grow strong.

 I like this one because I grew up in the days before a black president was a reality and I dreamed of the day it would come to pass.

Ok, this last one is my favorite poem, by my favorite author. I began to love it as a child when I dreamed of being a mother who worked hard and sacrificed everything for her children and wanted to encourage her children to fight and never quit no matter what. I am happy to report, that dream, based on the words of a poem from so long ago, has come true.

Mother to Son

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sensational Saturday, books, favorite, Langston Hughes, poems, knowledge, learn

 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.

Now that I have shared these words from one of my favorite books, you have gotten to know me a little better. The books we read tell others a little something about us. The books we read a lot tell a lot about us. So, the question for you this Sensational Saturday, is what is a book that you have read over and over until it is threadbare?