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Theme For English B

Langston Hughes

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Theme For English B
Added by: Yousef Husseini
I was wondering whether he had actually written "theme for english B" while he was in college, was he actually given this assignment or did he just come up witht that himself.
Added by: Emilie
Hughes wrote "Theme for English B" when he was 47 (in 1949). He did attend Columbia University for a year, though the speaker of the poem, 'born in Winston-Salem' is from a different place than Hughes.
Theme for Engligh B
Added by: Rachel
This poem by Langston Hughes is a wonderful poem. It captures the authors persona and throws you INTO his world and train of thought and feeling.
Dante's Inferno and English B
Added by: Andre McGrath
This wondrous, deceptively simple poem, to me suggests the descent of Dante's "persona" into Inferno in that great search for human meaning--is there not something here of the dream deferred or the mystic rose: "I guess you learn from me--older--white--somewhat more free...?"
Added by: Victror Shoman
I think this one of the best works of Langstone Hughes, I found new things about meaning of this poem..
Look.....Harlem...it s an area of New York where Black renaisance begun...WoW!
"born in Winston-Salem"?????
Added by: Victor Shoman
I really enjoy this poem, but one thing confuses me it says "born in Winston-Salem" but he was born in other place!It means that Huges talking about someone NOT him!
Added by: erica
Langston Hughes was an incredible writer, but I think it is important to consider that most of his poems (almost all actually) revolved around the same concept... What is America, What does it mean to be American... so when you read the poem contemplate the connection he is making to the narrator's deep understanding of this idea. Also read "let america be america again"
Author vs Narrator
Added by: MikeB
Victor, the narrator of a poem (the "I" of the poem) is often not the author of the poem. In an age where most poetry is autobiographical and shamelessly confessional, that distinction has almost been lost. Hughes may not have been born in Winston-Salem, put the person speaking the poem was.

When Emily Dickinson wrote "I heard a fly buzz when I died," she obviously wasn't speaking about her obviously still alive self--the "I" in the poem and the poet were two entirely different people.

While Hughes may be exploring a theme personal to himself, he is doing it through a fictional character and situation.
Wonderful Poem
Added by: Devin
I think this is a very fine work by langston hughes. Obviously Hughes is not talking about himself when he says that he was born in Winston, Salem. Because in fact langston hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri.

So he is using a fictional character to express the person that he really is, it is like he is looking at his life from somebody elses perspective, because him being a black man, like the fictional person, he knows what it is like to go to school, and to live the way that he does. I think this is a very admirable thing for him to do.
College on the hill above Harlem
Added by: Aaron Lucas
The college that Hughes is speaking of in his poem is not Columbia University. It is the City College of New York located on the highest hill in Manhattan. Arnold Rampersad who edited Hughes' collected poems mentioned that while he visited CCNY during its 30th annual Langston Hughes Festival

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