Langston Hughes

(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967 / Missouri)

Mother To Son - Poem by Langston Hughes

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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—
Bare.
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.

Topic(s) of this poem: mother


Comments about Mother To Son by Langston Hughes

  • Jeanette Telusma (3/24/2017 3:23:00 AM)


    Lovely.... this one's a keeper to share with loved ones. (Report) Reply

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  • Sylva-onyema Uba (1/26/2017 6:18:00 AM)


    The poem unveils a great message coming from the state of experience to the state of innocence. It articulates a fine blend of imageries. Sylva-Onyema Uba. (Report) Reply

  • Chinedu Dike (1/14/2017 8:11:00 PM)


    Practical and insightfully advice with good metaphors. A delight to read. (Report) Reply

  • Tom Allport (12/24/2016 11:16:00 AM)

    tom allport
    the best advice a mother could give to her child to survive in the world to day (Report) Reply

  • (11/22/2016 7:08:00 PM)


    (Mother To Son - Poem by Langston Hughes.) **Great advice from a loving, caring mom. (Report) Reply

  • R Soos (11/20/2016 7:50:00 AM)

    Amen
    Mother To Son is perfect. Everyday kanguage has pictures built in which explain depths that are difficult to capture on the page, but Langston Hughes prives it can be done. I have no problem believing his mother said these words as I read this. (Report) Reply

  • (9/18/2016 10:06:00 AM)


    I like this poem. Good metaphors!! (Report) Reply

  • Namile Zamangwane Hlongwane (9/15/2016 8:33:00 AM)


    nice one wish my son could read as well (Report) Reply

  • Subhas Chandra Chakra (8/16/2016 11:44:00 PM)


    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.

    Highly inspiring for all sons. Thanks for sharing this lovely poem.
    (Report) Reply

  • Patricia Grantham (8/16/2016 1:00:00 PM)


    A great write and very motivating. (Report) Reply

  • Abduhoo Salamath (8/15/2016 12:57:00 PM)


    woow...
    all mothers advise almost same like this poem.... great...
    (Report) Reply

  • (8/8/2016 4:58:00 PM)


    A poem that catche's the very essence of Mother/Son relationship with both subtlety & strength. (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams (7/14/2016 1:34:00 PM)


    He masters the power of brevity and uses it so eloquently in its simplicity and yet complexity. We have layers here, so many layers we could explore (Report) Reply

  • Veezy Adroit (6/12/2016 8:35:00 AM)


    Inspiring. How i wish my mother saw this... (Report) Reply

  • Zwelethu Siwaphiwe Shweni (5/31/2016 4:07:00 AM)


    Wow, If my mother would say such word. She would be a great mother.
    You nailed it Langston
    (Report) Reply

  • (5/15/2016 6:16:00 AM)


    Yes it is a strong message of empowerment fromom to son or from dad to daughter! (Report) Reply

  • (5/12/2016 2:46:00 AM)


    Brilliant advice. (Report) Reply

  • (2/23/2016 1:52:00 PM)


    .....a mother writes a great message of advice to her son -★ (Report) Reply

  • Uzefa Rashida M.a (2/17/2016 9:45:00 AM)


    The struggles a mother faces in her life to bring her child up and making her child aware of her hardship. its all the more inspiring for single mothers (Report) Reply

  • Margaret O Driscoll (2/9/2016 5:16:00 PM)


    Powerful inspiring poem of overcoming obstacles (Report) Reply

Read all 76 comments »

# 27 poem on top 500 Poems

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Read poems about / on: sometimes, son, dark, light, mother, life, time



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

Poem Edited: Thursday, December 18, 2014


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