The Weary Blues

Second Class Citizen
March 13, 2018
Resilience
March 27, 2018

The Weary Blues

Langston Hughes

A beautiful new edition of this beloved poet’s first collection, originally published in 1926 when he was just twenty-four.
From the opening “Proem” (prologue poem) he offers in this first book-“I am a Negro: / Black as night is black, / Black the depths of my Africa”-Hughes spoke directly, intimately, and powerfully of the experiences of African Americans, at a time when their voices were newly being heard in our literature. As his Knopf editor Carl Van Vechten wrote in a brief introduction to the original 1926 volume, illuminating the potential of this promising young voice, “His cabaret songs throb with the true jazz rhythm; his sea-pieces ache with a calm, melancholy lyricism; he cries bitterly from the heart of his race…Always, however, his stanzas are subjective, personal” and, he concludes, they are “the expression [of] an essentially sensitive and subtly illusive nature.” That illusive nature darts among these early lines and begins to reveal itself, sometimes with shocking confidence and clarity: “Bring me all of your / Heart melodies / That I may wrap them / In a blue cloud-cloth / Away from the too-rough fingers/ Of the world.”

 

(Summary taken from goodreads.com)