The Negro Speaks of Rivers

Langston Hughes

 
I've known rivers:
I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
     flow of human blood in human veins.
My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln
     went down to New Orleans, and I've seen its muddy
     bosom turn all golden in the sunset.
I've known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.
My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
 
From The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Copyright © 1994 the Estate of Langston Hughes. Used with permission.

Poems by This Author

Dream Variations by Langston Hughes
To fling my arms wide
Dreams by Langston Hughes
Hold fast to dreams
I, Too, Sing America by Langston Hughes
I, too, sing America.
Let America Be America Again by Langston Hughes
Let America be America again.
Life is Fine by Langston Hughes
I went down to the river,
Madam and Her Madam by Langston Hughes
I worked for a woman,
Madam and the Phone Bill by Langston Hughes
You say I O.K.ed
Night Funeral in Harlem by Langston Hughes
Night funeral
Po' Boy Blues by Langston Hughes
When I was home de
The Weary Blues by Langston Hughes
Droning a drowsy syncopated tune,
Theme for English B by Langston Hughes
The instructor said,
Will V-Day Be Me-Day Too? by Langston Hughes
Over There, / World War II. / Dear Fellow Americans,


Further Reading

Black History
A Negro Love Song
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
A Song for Many Movements
by Audre Lorde
American History
by Michael S. Harper
Believing in Iron
by Yusef Komunyakaa
Black Woman
by Georgia Douglas Johnson
Derrick Poem (The Lost World)
by Terrance Hayes
Dreams
by Langston Hughes
For the Confederate Dead
by Kevin Young
Frederick Douglass
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Haircut
by Elizabeth Alexander
Harriet Tubman
by Eloise Greenfield
homage to my hips
by Lucille Clifton
I'm A Fool To Love You
by Cornelius Eady
La Vie C'est La Vie
by Jessie Redmon Fauset
Langston Blue
by Jericho Brown
Lift Every Voice and Sing
by James Weldon Johnson
Quatrains
by Gwendolyn Bennett
Reunion 2005
by Rita Dove
Song of the Son
by Jean Toomer
Still I Rise
by Maya Angelou
The Day I Saw Barack Obama Reading Derek Walcott's Collected Poems
by Yusef Komunyakaa
The Spring Cricket Considers the Question of Negritude
by Rita Dove
The White House
by Claude McKay
We Real Cool
by Gwendolyn Brooks
We Wear the Mask
by Paul Laurence Dunbar