Black History Month: “Harlem” by Langston Hughes

Authors. Writers. Books. Poems. Literature History.

It’s been a bit, but I assure you I’ve been busy even though I’m not blogging. Anyway, I thought I would share Langston Hughes’s “Harlem” because it’s a really great poem and I’m about to teach it during The Harlem Renaissance unit (but it’s good any time of the year).

It’s short and it packs a punch, which always seems to open up discussion in class.

“Harlem” by Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?

      Does it dry up
      like a raisin in the sun?
      Or fester like a sore—
      And then run?
      Does it stink like rotten meat?
      Or crust and sugar over—
      like a syrupy sweet?

      Maybe it just sags
      like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?