Friday, February 06, 2009

Black History Month featuring Langston Hughes

looking down into the water

I've gotten to the point where I check my Twitter stream before I check my email every morning. It's fun to find out what my friends have been up to over night. I find the best links to curriculum resources, websites and applications.

Today I saw a tweet from Jon Bard linking to Black History Month resources at the blog of Sullivan University Library in Lexington, KY. They had a link to the Yale Library Tribute to Langston Hughes that is a really fascinating time line of the life of Langston Hughes, with poetry, photographs and audio excerpts. I listened this morning to his talk in the children's garden in Harlem in 1955, found by scrolling over the photos in the "poet" stream. He explains rhythm and song from crickets to Mother Goose to heart beats and drum beats. You may also chose to explore the "observer" and "artist" strains by clicking the links in the lower right of the time line. This site is a gold mine for anyone studying Hughes, Harlem, and Black History. The exhibit was displayed in the Yale Library in 2002, and the web site continues to give access to this phenomenal centennial celebration of his birth (Feb. 2, 1902).

The opening screen gives us an audio of Hughes reading one of his most well known poems:

The Negro Speaks of Rivers

I've known rivers:
I've known rivers ancient as the world an older than the flow of human blood in human veins.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

read the rest here at and listen to the poet read it and give background on how he wrote it.

Read more about Langston Hughes at wikipedia and The Poetry Archive.

The Friday Poetry roundup is at Wild Rose Reader today. Everyone can join in! If you are posting poetry go add your link and please enjoy browsing what poems other bloggers are celebrating this weekend!

Elaine linked to this cool site where you can make your own candy heart:


Lorie Ann Grover said...

Cloudscome, I love your work so much I did a shout out just to you yesterday. :~)

Barbara H. said...

Thank you -- the only poem I knew of Hughes was one about America. I enjoyed listening to the recording as well.

tanita s. davis said...

Oh, I love those. Last year I did a whole bunch of black ones.

Lovely Langston today as well.

(My word verification is "quallyt" Quality. Definitely describes both Langston and you.)

Jules at 7-Imp said...

What a beautiful poem, always good to read.

Author Amok said...

My son's middle school poetry unit has included Hughes, James Berry, Charles Simic. These poets are with us through their words. Thanks for posting this one.

Janet said...

This post is full of treasures. Thank you!

jama said...

Thanks for the link to the Hughes tribute. What a great resource!

Enjoyed hearing him recite "The Negro Speaks of Rivers."

Mary Lee said...

Love the poetry, but I spent most of my time with your boys on the end of that dock in the sun!

Cloudscome said...

LOL I know Mary Lee! That was last fall on a day off from school. Great day.

Lorie Ann thanks so much for the kind words! You really made my day.

Tanita I remember those black VD hearts from last year. Too Cool! I am flattered you put me in the same sentence with Langston here.