I have read a few poems by  Langston Hughes in the past, but it was always a rushed experience. When I checked Vintage Hughes out of the library, I knew I needed to take my time and truly give my attention to the works of Langston Hughes. His poetry and short stories are lyrical, moving, and resonating.

Although I majored in English, poetry has never been my favorite. The more I focus on creativity, the more I enjoy it, but I am still new to enjoying poetry. Langston Hughes, however, writes in a style that is so alive and honest that it is impossible to not love it. Sometimes the poems are heartbreaking, other times inspiring, and most of the time just painfully honest. The three short stories are filled with perfect detail, beautifully deep characters, and plots that remain with you long after you have finished reading.

I recommend reading Hughes out-loud, the poetry is so rhythmic that something is missed if it is read silently. I read to myself in the car, in my back yard as my son played, snuggled in blankets on the couch and each place was filled with the truth of Hughes. It was cathartic to read out loud poetry that addresses racism while sitting in my yard in the South. These issues are still alive and it was good to speak the words and to feel their truth.

Read Hughes. Read Hughes out loud. Feel the rhythm and weight of his words.

I liked reading it with sweet tea because it’s summer in the South. The drink was refreshing and the writing was honest — it was a good combination.


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