Pandaemonium

LANGSTON HUGHES ON DREAMS AND DREAMS DEFERRED

Natvar Bhavsar AVANEE

Two poems by Langston Hughes (1902-1967), the great poet of the Harlem Renaissance, that speak to our moment as profoundly as many a political analysis.

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Dreams

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Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

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A dream deferred

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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?

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The image is AVANEE by Natvar Bhavsar.

2 comments

  1. The problem of our moment, is that the utopian dreams (right-wing as well as left) of the recent past have been exposed as unrealisable.

    Thus deferred dreams have exploded (into Islamism, and now Western populism), dried up into cynicism or festered as escapism (drink, drugs, screens, shopping etc etc).

    So: We need New Dreams.

    Realisable (well, partially-realisable) ones, this time.

    To be realisable, they must tackle the Fault in human nature – which is a mixture of Egotism and Despair.

    Only religion (not politics, still less the Islamist or US practice of clothing politics in religious garb) can help us here.

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