Langston Hughes Speaks of Rivers

L.T. Garvin

I’ve known rivers:
I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins.
My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset.
I’ve known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.
My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
–Langston Hughes
I was just reading this poem the other day and thinking how amazing it is that the poet wrote it when he was 17 years-old and had just graduated high school.  I know about his connection with the Harlem Renaissance, but I had not read…

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