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

  • Alouwou Mandjah (3/11/2020 10:00:00 AM)

    My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
    Langston Hughes(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Michael WalkerMichael Walker (10/15/2019 7:56:00 PM)

    This is still my favorite poem by Langston Hughes. 'I' symbolizes all negroes in different times and places'
    from ancient Egypt to the American Civil War, 'when Abe Lincoln/ went down to New Orleans, .' What an evocative phrase that is.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Aiden schultz (2/7/2019 1:05:00 PM)

    Love it so much and it’s very perfect(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Frannie (12/20/2017 4:46:00 PM)

    yyeeaahh, great poem? i think it's gone to far.(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Dustin DawinDustin Dawin (7/23/2017 9:31:00 AM)

    My soul has grown deep like the rivers.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Sylvaonyema UbaSylvaonyema Uba (1/18/2017 4:37:00 PM)

    My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

    A well chosen image of comparison.
    Great poem!

    Sylva-Onyema Uba(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Tom Allport (12/26/2016 10:03:00 AM)

    we all lived by a river, the river of life(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Ahmed Gumaa SiddiekAhmed 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.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Margaret O DriscollMargaret O Driscoll (2/9/2016 5:22:00 PM)

    Wonderful work, very meaningful(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Simone Callender-lindo (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

    8 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Mel Vincent Basconcillo (4/19/2009 2:57:00 AM)

    he is truly amazing and magnificent(Report)Reply

    19 person liked.
    8 person did not like.
  • Nandkumar Variar (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

    7 person liked.
    17 person did not like.
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Read poems about / on: sunset, sleep, world, river



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

Poem Edited: Monday, July 18, 2011