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More poems by Langston HughesLangston Hughes | Print this page.Print | View and Write CommentsComments (26) | Books by Langston HughesBooks by Langston Hughes

Theme For English B

Langston Hughes

The instructor said,

    Go home and write
    a page tonight.
    And let that page come out of you--
    Then, it will be true.

I wonder if it's that simple?
I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem.
I went to school there, then Durham, then here
to this college on the hill above Harlem.
I am the only colored student in my class.
The steps from the hill lead down into Harlem,
through a park, then I cross St. Nicholas,
Eighth Avenue, Seventh, and I come to the Y,
the Harlem Branch Y, where I take the elevator
up to my room, sit down, and write this page:

It's not easy to know what is true for you or me 
at twenty-two, my age. But I guess I'm what 
I feel and see and hear, Harlem, I hear you:
hear you, hear me--we two--you, me, talk on this page.
(I hear New York, too.) Me--who?
Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love.
I like to work, read, learn, and understand life.
I like a pipe for a Christmas present,
or records--Bessie, bop, or Bach.
I guess being colored doesn't make me not like
the same things other folks like who are other races.
So will my page be colored that I write?

Being me, it will not be white. 
But it will be
a part of you, instructor. 
You are white-- 
yet a part of me, as I am a part of you. 
That's American.
Sometimes perhaps you don't want to be a part of me. 
Nor do I often want to be a part of you.
But we are, that's true! 
As I learn from you, 
I guess you learn from me-- 
although you're older--and white-- 
and somewhat more free.

This is my page for English B.

Added: 16 Jan 2002 | Last Read: 27 Jun 2017 1:29 AM | Viewed: 76980 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/2456/ | Viewed on 27 June 2017.
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