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Thursday, January 21, 2010

determined dreams.........






Dreams by Langston Hughes

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.

This is another poem written by Langston Hughes, which conveys the message of the need to have the determination to accomplish whatever we aim or strive for in life . In the first stanza, “Hold fast to dreams” implies that a person needs to continue to believe in his ability and aim for what he visualizes for his future success. Then Langston Hughes personifies life, by stating that life is a broken-winged bird if one let the dreams die. It means a person will meet failure if he let go his dreams before accomplishing his desired aims in life. He will also lose his strength to move on physically, emotionally or spiritually to make his dream become a reality. In the second stanza, “Hold fast to dreams” is repeated again to emphasis on the importance of being a person who has mission and vision in life. Langston Hughes personifies life once again by stating “ Life is a barren field, frozen with snow" if dreams go. It shows that there is no harvest to reap as when he let go his dream, life will become unproductive, making it fruitless and meaningless.

pessimist or optimist?

James Mercer Langston Hughes, an African American was a poet, short story writer, novelist, playwright and columnist. His writings are categorized as marginalized literature in the marginalized ethnic group and he voice out issues and concerns from his life experience. I feel that his poem “Cross” is showing his vision of future generations, who practice multi-ethnic marriage, which has actually become a reality these days. The same situation occurs in Malaysia where we have multi ethnic marriage, so this poem can also be suitable to be taught in Malaysian secondary school where students have background knowledge on this matter. Multi ethnic marriage occurs in their family circle or in the society around them. The poem reflects the persona’s frustration from racialism and arouses us to contemplate what will happen in the future if discrimination prevails. The persona is as though wanting the readers to ponder on the consequences of practicing racialism in the society which will not only cause internal conflict in a person but also external conflict and to decide whether to be pessimist or optimist when facing the reality in life before turning into dust.

Cross by Langston Hughes

My old man's a white old man
And my old mother's black.
If ever I cursed my white old man
I take my curses back.
If ever I cursed my black old mother
And wished she were in hell,
I'm sorry for that evil wish
And now I wish her well
My old man died in a fine big house.
My ma died in a shack.
I wonder where I'm going to die,
Being neither white nor black?


love : pleasure or pressure?

Erica Mann Jong’s writing on literary text is categorized as marginalized literature for feminist writings .The rose in the poem written by her symbolizes love, pleasure, beauty. The persona received the love from a man but she was waiting to let the love bloom in her heart. By the time the love flows into her heart, she realizes the man’s love for her is beginning to fade. So, the persona tried to preserve the love she received from him but it perished as time moves on. She suffered the lost for years with pressure. She hopes for pleasure from the love she once received, so she took the effort to make it alive, but love was not lasting for her, turning from pleasure into pressure. In the last 2 stanzas I feel that the persona has reached to a reflecting and contemplating stage,in order to console herself, after going through bitterness of a love that has perished.

The Rose by Erica Mann Jong

You gave me a rose
last time we met.

I told myself
if it bloomed
our love would bloom,
& if it died--

O I did not

consider

the possibility.

It died.

Though I cut
the stem
on a slant
as my mother
taught me,
though I dropped
an aspirin
in the water,

it hung its head
like a spent cock
& died.

It stands
on my desk now--
straight green stalk,
blood-red clot
of bud
drooping
like a hanged man's
head.

Does this mean
we are doomed?
Does this mean
all lovers
are doomed?

O my love--
I have not read roses
as amulets
in seven years. . . .

Which doom
is worse?
To love
& lose?

Or to lose
love
altogether
& not care
whether roses

live or die?