Langston Hughes

(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967 / Missouri)

Negro Speaks Of Rivers - Poem by Langston Hughes

I've known rivers:
I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
flow of human blood in human veins

My soul has grown deep like the 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

I've known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.


Comments about Negro Speaks Of Rivers by Langston Hughes

  • Ahmed Gumaa Siddiek (2/23/2016 2:43:00 AM)


    poet Langston Hughes #6 on top 500 poets Poet's PagePoemsQuotesCommentsStatsE-BooksBiographyVideosShare on FacebookShare on Twitter
    Poems by Langston Hughes: 63 / 103 « prev. poem next poem »
    Negro Speaks Of Rivers - Poem by Langston Hughes

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    I've known rivers:
    I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
    flow of human blood in human veins

    This poem is one of the best of Hughes poems and one of the best of its time. Philosophy is intermingled with geography, history and sociology. Human anatomy with arts all together in one bunch. the words are simply chosen to serve the idea of freedom and human emancipation from both factors of time and place. It is the freedom of the soul and mind.
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  • Margaret O Driscoll (2/9/2016 5:22:00 PM)


    Wonderful work, very meaningful (Report) Reply

  • (4/29/2013 4:48:00 PM)


    This poem is so deep, soulful and full of meaning. Langston Hughes is simply a great wordsmith. I truly enjoy reading all his poems. (Report) Reply

  • (4/19/2009 2:57:00 AM)


    he is truly amazing and magnificent (Report) Reply

  • (5/12/2006 2:38:00 AM)


    Please listen to the audio clip on www.poets.org in the poet's own voice. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: sunset, sleep, world, river



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

Poem Edited: Monday, July 18, 2011


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