Poet Research Project

Langston Hughes

Background information

-Hughes is best known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance.

-Born: February 1st, 1902

-Died: May 22nd, 1967

-His parents separated when he was young

-Developed a love to read from his loneliness & a feeling of rejection from his parent.

- His love for reading grew into a desire to write.

People he looked up to.

He looked up to Carl Sandburg, and Walt Whitman, after first being introduced to them by one of his teachers. Many of Hughes's poems were featured in his school's literary magazine.

Walt Whitman pictured to the right.

Two of the poets poems



I’m all alone in this world, she said,
Ain’t got nobody to share my bed,
Ain’t got nobody to hold my hand—
The truth of the matter’s
I ain’t got no man.

Big Boy opened his mouth and said,
Trouble with you is
You ain’t got no head!
If you had a head and used your mind
You could have me with you
All the time.

She answered, Babe, what must I do?

He said, Share your bed—
And your money, too.



My old man's a white old man
And my old mother's black.
If ever I cursed my white old man
I take my curses back.
If ever I cursed my black old mother
And wished she were in hell,
I'm sorry for that evil wish
And now I wish her well
My old man died in a fine big house.
My ma died in a shack.
I wonder where I'm going to die,
Being neither white nor black?

Audio of the poem "Cross"

People reading his poem.

Critics say:

- Many black critics thought to be an unattractive view of black life.

- Most abused poets

-White people tried to ignore him

-Most black critics only grudgingly admired him

our comments

poet's style-

Shelby- "He writes exactly how he talks."

Ashley- "Really laid back kind of writing style."

common themes-

Shelby- "He wrote a lot about his views on how blacks were treated."

Ashley- "Writes about life."