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Thump, thump, thump, went his foot on the floor. He played a few chords then he sang some more— “I got the Weary Blues And I can’t be satisfied. Got the Weary Blues And can’t be satisfied— I ain’t happy no mo’ And I wish that I had died.” And far into the night he crooned that tune. The stars went out and so did the moon. The singer stopped playing and went to bed While the Weary Blues echoed through his head. He slept like a rock or a man that’s dead.
Hughes argues that jazz is everywhere, encompassing the blues and rock and roll. To those who would deny the connections between musical traditions, Hughes states, “Jazz is a great big sea. It washes up all kinds of fish and shells and spume and waves with a steady old beat, or off-beat.” Langston Hughes, “Jazz as Communication” from The Collected Works of Langston Hughes, published by University of Missouri Press, wrote more on this idea – “Now, to wind it all up, with you in the middle—jazz is only what you yourself get out of it. Louis’s famous quote—or misquote probably—“Lady, if you have to ask what it is, you’ll never know.” Well, I wouldn’t be so positive. The lady just might know—without being able to let loose the cry—to follow through—to light up before the fuse blows out. To me jazz is a montage of a dream deferred. A great big dream—yet to come—and always yet—to become ultimately and finally true.”
One of my favorite authors. I discovered Langston Hughes in a high school lit class. Opened my eyes to other authors like Maya Angelou and Alice Walker. More importantly ushered my on my journey to be a writer. My favorite poem by Mr. Hughes is "Negro Speaks of Rivers". The Negro Speaks sit right beside "Still I Rise" by Ms. Angelou. Powerful. Get the book read it, share it...then read Maya Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston, and keep reading until you have heard the voices of those who can before us and those who still walk with us.
What great literature by one of the greatest poets of all time. I personally love the final two sections of this work. Langston gives so much imagery of his time and captures the mind to wonder and think.
His work is greatly appreciated. Although written during the 20s and Great Depression era; unfortunately his view on race and how whites view people of color is still relevant to this day.