Langston Hughes

(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967 / Missouri)

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As I Grew Older


It was a long time ago.
I have almost forgotten my dream.
But it was there then,
In front of me,
Bright like a sun—
My dream.
And then the wall rose,
Rose slowly,
Slowly,
Between me and my dream.
Rose until it touched the sky—
The wall.
Shadow.
I am black.
I lie down in the shadow.
No longer the light of my dream before me,
Above me.
Only the thick wall.
Only the shadow.
My hands!
My dark hands!
Break through the wall!
Find my dream!
Help me to shatter this darkness,
To smash this night,
To break this shadow
Into a thousand lights of sun,
Into a thousand whirling dreams
Of sun!

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003
Edited: Wednesday, November 13, 2013

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Comments about this poem (As I Grew Older by Langston Hughes )

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  • Freshman - 2,020 Points Abekah Emmanuel (9/6/2014 3:30:00 PM)

    Hughes never stop amusing me with his often short but deeply emotional words and ideas. I simply love this poem to the fullest! (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 2,020 Points Abekah Emmanuel (9/6/2014 3:29:00 PM)

    Hughes never stop amusing me with his often short but deeply emotional words and ideas. I simply love this poem to the fullest! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 876 Points Melikhaya Zagagana (5/7/2014 10:28:00 AM)

    The Man standing, i love Mr. Hughes he is very honest and realistic in ways of writing, he dreams real life. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 393 Points Michelle Claus (5/6/2014 2:25:00 PM)

    I love how Langston Hughes remained with the imagery of wall, black, and shadow for 15 lines. As a poetic technique, this hammers down one of his main points - oppression imposes stagnation. Then Hughes interjected, Break through the wall! This line has powerful impact, because we were with the wall and the shadow for 15 lines prior. I love this poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 271 Points Shobana Gomes (4/30/2014 7:35:00 AM)

    How explicitly vivid about reaching out for dreams and breaking barriers for it to come true. Excellent poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 271 Points Joseph Sanchez (4/28/2014 11:43:00 AM)

    you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
    Or being hated don't give way to hating,
    And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise; (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 57 Points Noctiluca Scintillans (4/1/2014 5:03:00 AM)

    We might lose our dreams once in a while, but we are bound to swam across even the deepest seas to reach out our dreams (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 57 Points Damo Geka (3/8/2014 12:43:00 PM)

    my mother in-law got a nearly new Chevrolet Traverse SUV by working parttime from a home computer... look here http: //www.lock90.com (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 565 Points Francis Lynch (2/25/2014 8:23:00 AM)

    Poems like this should bolster all of us. The language, imagery, cadence, sytax, etc. are simplistic and meaningful. You don't have to be T.S. Elliot to write great poetry. (Report) Reply

Read all 91 comments »

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