Theme For English B Poem by Langston Hughes

Theme For English B

Rating: 3.6


The instructor said,

Go home and write
a page tonight.
And let that page come out of you--
Then, it will be true.

I wonder if it's that simple?
I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem.
I went to school there, then Durham, then here
to this college on the hill above Harlem.
I am the only colored student in my class.
The steps from the hill lead down into Harlem,
through a park, then I cross St. Nicholas,
Eighth Avenue, Seventh, and I come to the Y,
the Harlem Branch Y, where I take the elevator
up to my room, sit down, and write this page:

It's not easy to know what is true for you or me
at twenty-two, my age. But I guess I'm what
I feel and see and hear, Harlem, I hear you:
hear you, hear me--we two--you, me, talk on this page.
(I hear New York, too.) Me--who?
Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love.
I like to work, read, learn, and understand life.
I like a pipe for a Christmas present,
or records--Bessie, bop, or Bach.
I guess being colored doesn't make me not like
the same things other folks like who are other races.
So will my page be colored that I write?

Being me, it will not be white.
But it will be
a part of you, instructor.
You are white--
yet a part of me, as I am a part of you.
That's American.
Sometimes perhaps you don't want to be a part of me.
Nor do I often want to be a part of you.
But we are, that's true!
As I learn from you,
I guess you learn from me--
although you're older--and white--
and somewhat more free.

This is my page for English B.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Pluto binisha PLuto 06 April 2009

for me this poem is a total mistry as i cant understand any thing except he is coloured and has to rite a piece of writing but i m sorry as i m only in 7th grade

11 26 Reply
Josh Mattingly 04 April 2012

Pluto binisha PLuto, you should quit, just quit, everything

15 16 Reply
Michele <3 18 May 2008

i luv this poem. we read it in english...lol: -) this poem is deep. <3

13 16 Reply
Andrea Gutierrez 08 October 2005

I know how it is to live a different culture and interact with others and have noticed that in my writing it will be a part of me. Me as a writer, as a young educated woman, I find this poem true. Langston Hughes just knew how to put it in words and that is why this is one of my favorite poems.

16 8 Reply
shakasha 02 May 2019

hello this is good but I think u need to make to voice change in bits and sections.

0 2 Reply
Khadija 13 January 2019

Please I want some more amazing poem

2 1 Reply
Langston Hughes 16 February 2020

Thank you! I am dead but I will try to write me more.

2 0 Reply
Abhimanyu Kumar.s 24 November 2017

Outburst of powerful feelings yet with obedience. One of my favorites

1 2 Reply
Samuel Santana 07 September 2016

Well, this is a very good poem relating to a great moment. Congratulations

3 1 Reply
Richard Stevens 24 September 2012

Try to recite it as if you actually were the little boy. It'll make it sound so much nicer. I also love the way the young man tries to see the comical aspect of the situation, for instance in the last lines, even though it is a serious subject. Moreover, I find Hughes manages to illustrate and depict the student's mind beautifully by mentioning the things he love: Well, I like to eat, sleep and be in love. I like to drink, eat and understand life I'm in love with that phrase: simple, yet so wonderfully put

20 8 Reply
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