Langston Hughes

(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967 / Missouri)

Daybreak in Alabama


When I get to be a composer
I'm gonna write me some music about
Daybreak in Alabama
And I'm gonna put the purtiest songs in it
Rising out of the ground like a swamp mist
And falling out of heaven like soft dew.
I'm gonna put some tall tall trees in it
And the scent of pine needles
And the smell of red clay after rain
And long red necks
And poppy colored faces
And big brown arms
And the field daisy eyes
Of black and white black white black people
And I'm gonna put white hands
And black hands and brown and yellow hands
And red clay earth hands in it
Touching everybody with kind fingers
And touching each other natural as dew
In that dawn of music when I
Get to be a composer
And write about daybreak
In Alabama.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Enoch John (6/18/2008 3:31:00 PM)

    This daybreak poem speaks to Hughes' simplicity, which actually was his genius. (Report) Reply

  • Nordia Smith (4/7/2006 6:07:00 PM)

    i think this poem is just bsolutely beautiful, it has both innocence and depth hughes speaks about the hopes he has for a better time after the oppression when he will be free, i love the language, the figures of speech he uses (Report) Reply

  • Chere Berman (4/1/2005 7:12:00 PM)

    All of Langston Hughes' poetry is a cry from the Harlem Renaissance, but this one in particular is hauntingly beautiful. I love to perform this for my high school class, and they can even be seen moved to tears sometimes...and it always sparks a great discussion. (Report) Reply

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