Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Blast from the Poetry Past: 1932

Langston Hughes published The Dream Keeper and Other Poems, his only collection of poetry specifically for young people in 1932. That book is still in print (and is one of my top 10 favorite poetry books of all time). My favorite poem from that book? Mmmm... tough choice. Maybe the title poem:

The Dream Keeper

Bring me all of your dreams,

You dreamers,

Bring me all your

Heart melodies

That I may wrap them

In a blue cloud-cloth

Away from the too-rough fingers

Of the world.

Contemporary Connections
In recent years, several award-winning African American illustrators have selected single poems by Langston Hughes and featured them in gorgeous fully-illustrated picture books. Look for:

Hughes, Langston. 2012. I, Too, Am America. Ill. by Bryan Collier. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Hughes, Langston. 2013. Lullaby (For a Black Mother). Ill. by Sean Qualls. New York: Harcourt.
Hughes, Langston. 2009. My People. Ill. by Charles R Smith, Jr. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Hughes, Langston. 2009. The Negro Speaks of Rivers. Ill. by E. B. Lewis. New York: Disney-Hyperion.

Posting by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2013. All rights reserved.

Image credits: Tower.com;PowerHouseArena


Linda B said...

I just received a copy of I too Am America-just beautiful isn't it? I think our library has Dream-Keeper. He knew just the right words to give us, didn't he? Thanks, Sylvia!

Janet Wong said...

My favorite in that collection is, hands-down, "Mother to Son": "Life for me ain't been no crystal stair . . . " It's so terrific that this collection is still in print--hopefully it will stay that way forever!

Mary Ann Scheuer said...

Ooooh, have you read Hold Fast by Blue Balliett yet? I love the way she works in Langston Hughes' poetry throughout the story.