America Poems - Poems For America

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Let America Be America Again - Poem by Langston Hughes

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There's never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek--
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one's own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean--
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today--O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That's made America the land it has become.
O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home--
For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore,
And Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa's strand I came
To build a "homeland of the free."

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we've dreamed
And all the songs we've sung
And all the hopes we've held
And all the flags we've hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay--
Except the dream that's almost dead today.

O, let America be America again--
The land that never has been yet--
And yet must be--the land where every man is free.
The land that's mine--the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME--
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose--
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
We must take back our land again,

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath--
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain--
All, all the stretch of these great green states--
And make America again!

Comments about Let America Be America Again by Langston Hughes

  • Rookie Kathleen (1/15/2018 10:33:00 AM)

    Speaks just as strongly to the America of 2018 as it did to the America of 1935 when the poem was written. A timeless truth unfortunately, but a truth that still carries a great promise rooted in hope. (Report) Reply

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  • Rookie - 0 Points Annabelle Fifield (1/4/2018 10:58:00 AM)

    Some of this I do not agree with, but overall it is a beautiful poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Elizabeth (1/4/2018 12:12:00 AM)

    First time I ever read this wonderful poem so relevant for today Let's make America great in the right way as our poet understood the term'great' (Report) Reply

Read all 40 comments »

Poems About America

  1. 1. Let America Be America Again , Langston Hughes
  2. 2. America , Claude McKay
  3. 3. On Being Brought From Africa To America , Phillis Wheatley
  4. 4. America The Beautiful , Katharine Lee Bates
  5. 5. I Hear America Singing , Walt Whitman
  6. 6. A Farewell To America To Mrs. S. W. , Phillis Wheatley
  7. 7. America, A Prophecy , William Blake
  8. 8. America For Me , Henry Van Dyke
  9. 9. A Prophecy: To George Keats In America , John Keats
  10. 10. America , Herman Melville
  11. 11. America , Henry Van Dyke
  12. 12. One Song, America, Before I Go , Walt Whitman
  13. 13. Long, Too Long America , Walt Whitman
  14. 14. America , Robert Creeley
  15. 15. America, America! , Delmore Schwartz
  16. 16. America , Gertrude Stein
  17. 17. ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' .. , Dónall Dempsey
  18. 18. America , Olivia Taylor
  19. 19. America , William Cullen Bryant
  20. 20. America Politica Historia, In Spontaneity , Gregory Corso
  21. 21. A Message To America , Alan Seeger
  22. 22. America To England , Katharine Lee Bates
  23. 23. *america - * , Louie Levy
  24. 24. God Bless Us (America America America .. , Udiah (witness to Yah)
  25. 25. America , Edgar Lee Masters
  26. 26. The Greatest Thing In North America , Delmore Schwartz
  27. 27. Circular From America , George Barker
  28. 28. To Walt Whitman In America , Algernon Charles Swinburne
  29. 29. England To America , Katharine Lee Bates
  30. 30. America Is An Idea , Lonnie Hicks
  31. 31. America In 1804 , Edgar Lee Masters
  32. 32. Concept Of America (America America Am.. , Udiah (witness to Yah)
  33. 33. America In 1904 , Edgar Lee Masters
  34. 34. America, The Good Neighbour , Herbert Nehrlich
  35. 35. Part 1 Of Trout Fishing In America , Richard Brautigan
  36. 36. A Poem, On The Rising Glory Of America , Hugh Henry Brackenridge
  37. 37. I Too, Sing America (Inspired By Langsto.. , Vaida Marea
  38. 38. America , Sydney Thompson Dobell
  39. 39. Part 3 Of Trout Fishing In America , Richard Brautigan
  40. 40. America Politico , JOE POEWHIT
  41. 41. America To Russia , Oliver Wendell Holmes
  42. 42. Song Of America , Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  43. 43. Part 2 Of Trout Fishing In America , Richard Brautigan
  44. 44. Part 10 Of Trout Fishing In America , Richard Brautigan
  45. 45. A Soldier To America. , JOSE MURGUIA
  46. 46. What Does America Need To Do To Survive? , Lonnie Hicks
  47. 47. Z-The Muse- Whither America? , Lonnie Hicks
  48. 48. Part 6 Of Trout Fishing In America , Richard Brautigan
  49. 49. Part 7 Of Trout Fishing In America , Richard Brautigan
  50. 50. Calendar-Scenic America (Haiku Verses Ea.. , Jim Norausky
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