Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri, in February 1, 1902. His parents divorced when he was a child. His father moved to Mexico and Hughes moved to Lincoln, Illinois to live with his mother. Hughes is one of the most popular writers from the Harlem Renaissance period.
His works include " The Negro Speak Of Rivers," Trumpet Player," Mother To Son," I, Too," and more. In his poetry, Hughes shows his feelings and thoughts about discrimination, poverty and hope. He also shows his desire for equal treatment between races. His style is a combination of his feelings, represented by music, especially in the blues and jazz songs. He uses ordinary language that makes his poetry understandable and easy to read.
Hughes spent much of his time traveling and moving from place to place. He published "The Negro Speaks Of River," when he was nineteen. In this poem, we can see how he identifies himself with the black race and his ancestors. Although he uses the word " I," he talks in the voice of the black people in general. We can find that the stanzas are written in a way that resembles a river that combines with the title of the poem. Hughes's poetry is easy to understand, because he talks in a language that is used every day, but he does not forget to use symbols and metaphors that characterize poetry.
For example in the poem "Mother To Son," second line .".. Life for me ain't been no crystal start... ." As we see, he uses the words crystal and start for symbolized the hard life that people experience in poverty. But also in the line six, he talks in common language in order to make his poetry understandable. .".. And places with no carpet on the floor...
." in this line we can bring the pictures of the places with no carpet and this make us to understand that he talks about poverty. In many of his poems, we find repetition of words, especially in the beginning of the poem. In "The Negro Speak of River," He uses the word " I," go begin almost every line of the poem. Then in " Mother To Son," we can find several repetition of the word "And." All this repetition makes the poems sound like music.
This characteristic of Hughes poetry. Hughes poetry is based on musical songs of jazz and blues. During his childhood, he worked in different places as a seaman, newspaper correspondent, cook, but in particular, he once worked in nightclub. That could be the reason because he likes to write in musical style. In the poem "Same In Blues." We can see how he combines the rhythms to make the poem a sound of music. In the third stanza, we will find that the second and fourth line thyme as in " ring and thing," then the first line of the stanza and the third line do not rhyme.
This special style of Hughes makes his poetry sounds like music. The major themes in Hughes's works are his personal life, travels, racial pride and his interest in equal treatment between the races. As we can see in his beautiful poem " I, Too." he expresses his pride and hopes. They send me to eat in the kitchen. When company comes, But I laugh And eat well, And grow strong.
Tomorrow, I'll be at the table When company comes, Nobody " ll dare Say to me, "Eat in the kitchen," ... Hughes's poetry is based on expressing his thoughts about discrimination and daily life by using the music and songs of jazz and blues. In most of his themes he expresses vividly different black sentiments, hopes, aspirations and pride. Unlike most of the other writers of poetry, his poetry is easy to read and understand. This is in spite of the fact that he uses common language and he doesn't forget to use symbols and metaphors that characterize his poetry. He speaks in the first person to refer to people in general.
Langston Hughes has contributed much to the Literature Arts, by his style of writing. And also has given much to his race through his writings.