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Crash Course: English Literature, Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance: Crash Course Literature 215 - YouTube (1)

Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance: Crash Course Literature 215 - YouTube (1)

Hi, I'm John Green, this is Crash Course Literature, and today we're going to discuss the poetry of Langston Hughes.

So the Harlem Renaissance was an early 20th Century movement in which writers and artists

of color explored what it means to be an artist, what it means to be black, and what it means

to be an American, and also what it means to be all three of those things at the same time.

MFTP: Mr. Green, Mr. Green! Does the Harlem Renaissance have anything to do with that

renaissance with, like, Leonardo de Vinci, and all of the other... Ninja Turtles?

Kind of, but the Harlem Renaissance happened a lot later than the European Renaissance,

also on a different continent, and there was much less plague and much more jazz.

[Theme Music]

OK, so one journalist described the Harlem Renaissance this way: "What a crowd! All classes

and colors met face to face, ultra aristocrats, bourgeois, communists, Park Avenue galore,

bookers, publishers, Broadway celebs, and Harlemites giving each other the once over."

What's the once over? Is that a dirty thing, Stan? Apparently it is not a dirty thing.

The Harlem Renaissance began just after the First World War and lasted into the early

years of the Great Depression because it turns out it's pretty hard to have a renaissance

when no one has any money, as they found out in Venice. And like the European Renaissance,

it was a social and political movement, but also an artistic one. I mean it inspired literature

and poetry, music, drama, ethnography, publishing, dance, fashion, probably even some novelty cocktails.

As Langston Hughes wrote about this time: "The negro was in vogue."

Oh, it must be time for the open letter. Oh, look, it's a floating dictionary. An open letter to language.

Hey there language, how's it going? Don't say it's going good, language; say it's going well.

So Langston Hughes often used the term "negro" to refer to African Americans, and when we

quote him or his poetry we're also going to use that term. But we won't use it when I'm

talking about African Americans or the African American experience because these days we

understand that term to be offensive. I would argue that this is a good thing about language;

it has the opportunity to evolve and to become more inclusive.

In short, language, I love you and I am amazed by you every day. Sorry if that sounds creepy;

I feel I might start singing the song from The Bodyguard, so I'm just going to stop right now.

Best wishes, John Green

Right, so, the poems, essays, and novels of the Harlem Renaissance often discuss the so-called

double consciousness of the African American experience, a term coined by W.E.B. Dubois

in his book The Souls of Black Folk, and which you might remember from our To Kill a Mockingbird

episode. Some writers like Countee Cullen, and Claude McKay used poetic forms historically

associated with European white people, like the Shakespearean sonnet, the Petrarchan sonnet,

and the villanelle, which is like a very fancy sonnet, but other writers, including Langston

Hughes, chose forms based on African and African American folk forms, you know, fables and

spirituals, children's rhymes, and blues songs.

This is actually part of Modernism generally, as artists sought to mix high and low culture

in an attempt to reinvent art. Like, see also Marcel Duchamp putting a toilet in an art gallery.

I should clarify: there were already toilets in art galleries; he was putting it there as art.

Anyway, let's go to the Thought Bubble for some background on Langston Hughes.

Hughes was born in 1902 in Missouri to mixed-race parents, who divorced early. He grew up in

Kansas and began to write poetry in high school: mostly because white students chose him as

class poet. In his autobiography, he wrote: "Well, everyone knows -- except us -- that

all Negros have rhythm, so they elected me class poet. I felt I couldn't let my white

classmates down and I've been writing poetry ever since."

Hughes' father wanted him to become a mining engineer so Hughes went to Columbia University,

but he left after his freshman year, in part because other students have snubbed him, and

in part because actually he didn't want to become a mining engineer.

So he signed on to work on a boat, going more or less around the world, returning a couple

of years later, this is true, with a red-haired monkey named Jocko. He didn't enjoy the trip

very much but that might actually have been a good thing because as he wrote in his autobiography:

"My best poems were all written when I felt the worst. When I was happy, I didn't write anything."

Which stands in stark contrast to all the happy poets, you know:

Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Hughes aimed to write in accessible, familiar language, and in that he was influenced by

poets like Paul Laurence Dunbar, and also people like Carl Sandburg and Walt Whitman,

all of whom wrote in vernacular, everyday language in the hopes that their work could

appeal to a larger audience. Thanks Thought Bubble.

So, as Hughes wrote in a 1927 essay, classical forms didn't support the work he wanted to do:

"Certainly the Shakespearean sonnet would be no mold in which to express the life of

Beale Street or Lenox Avenue nor could the emotions of State Street be captured in rondeau.

I am not interested in doing tricks with rhymes. I am interested in reproducing the human soul, if I can."

And this is what makes Hughes such an important poet. He brilliantly combines formal poetry

with the oral tradition, and he refuses to draw a bright line between fine art and folk art.

OK, in order to have a better understanding of Hughes' approach to poetry, let's look

at an early manifesto he wrote called "The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain."

In this essay, he criticizes other black writers for being too interested in white culture

and white forms. He writes: "This is the mountain standing in the way of any true Negro art

in America-- this urge within the race toward whiteness, the desire to pour racial individuality

into the mold of American standardization, and to be as little Negro and as much American as possible."

Now, some black writers, like Countee Cullen, accused Hughes of being TOO black. Like in

a review of Hughes' first book Cullen wrote, "There is too much emphasis of strictly Negro

themes." But, then again, later on, James Baldwin would condemn Hughes for not diving

deep enough into African American experience; like Baldwin wrote that Hughes poems "take

refuge, finally, in a fake simplicity in order to avoid the very difficult simplicity of the experience."

It's hard out there for a Langston Hughes.

Anyway, let's make up our own mind. I think the best way to get a sense of how Langston

Hughes expresses himself is probably to, like, actually read a couple of his poems.

Let's begin with "The Negro Speaks of Rivers":

"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."

Here's a bit of news that will be discouraging to most of you aspiring writers out there:

Hughes wrote that poem just after graduating from high school. He was riding a train to

see his estranged father and he passed over the Mississippi. He writes: "I began to think

about what that river, the old Mississippi, had meant to Negros in the past... Then I

began to think about other rivers in the past--the Congo, and the Niger, and the Nile in Africa--and

the thought came to me: 'I've known rivers,' and I put it down on the back of an envelope

I had in my pocket, and within the space of ten or fifteen minutes, as the train gathered

speed in the dusk, I had written this poem."

Are you even serious? "Ten or fifteen minutes"! What? Really!

So "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" is in the lyric mode: it's poetry trying to capture

an internal emotional state. He uses the vision of these rivers to transcend his immediate

relationships and to connect himself instead to all of his African forefathers, trading

the immediate for the immortal. The repetition of "I've known rivers" at the beginning and

"my soul has grown deep like the rivers" at the middle and end, gives the poem the feeling

of, like, a sermon or spiritual, in keeping with Hughes' use of folk forms.

And then, there's the catalog of active verbs: "I bathed", "I built", "I listened", "I looked."

Those show people actively participating in human life and having agency; that even amid

oppression and dehumanization, these people were still building and listening and looking.

And then, in the latter part of the poem, there are adjectives that in other poems might

be used pejoratively, like "muddy" and "dusky", that are linked with other adjectives, "golden",

"ancient", that encourage us to perceive them in a far more positive light. So, darkness

and brownness are seen as lustrous and valuable and revered.

And I know that some of you will say, oh, you're overreading the poem: Hughes didn't

mean any of this stuff. To which I say: it doesn't matter. These are still interesting

and cool uses of language. Although, as it happens, I'm not overreading it.

Anyway, let's look at one more poem, "Harlem", written in 1951:

"What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore— And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over—

like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?"

The dream here is likely a version of the American dream, a dream that at the time Hughes

wrote the poem was still denied to most African Americans. And in that sense, it's kind of

optimistic that Hughes uses the term deferred, rather than, like, destroyed or forbidden.

There's also a great moment earlier in that same book of poems in which Hughes writes,

"Good morning Daddy, aint you heard, the boogie woogie rumble, of a dream deferred", which

uses the conventions of blues music to associate the deferral of the dream with, like, a boogie-woogie rumble.

But the imagery in this poem is very negative: it often takes things that are sweet and then

makes them horrifying. You've got dried raisins, running sores. I guess sores aren't that sweet,

but you do have crusty sweets. Even the verbs are negative: "dry", "fester", "stink", "crust",

"sag". And that works against any real optimism. This is made even more interesting and complicated

by the fact that the poem sounds like a nursery rhyme: it has neat, perfect, one-syllable

rhymes like "sun" and "run", "meat" and "sweet". But then you have the layout of the poem,

which resists conventional stanzas, and that troubles the simplicity here. Also, the rhythm

of the poem is always changing. Like, this isn't straight iambic pentameter or anything

like that, and that makes it hard to build into a comfortable pace as the reader. And

then there's that last line, "Or does it explode", which from a meter perspective is totally

fascinating because there's a stress on every single syllable: Or. Does. It. Ex-plode.

Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance: Crash Course Literature 215 - YouTube (1) Langston Hughes y el Renacimiento de Harlem: Crash Course Literatura 215 - YouTube (1)

Hi, I'm John Green, this is Crash Course Literature, and today we're going to discuss the poetry of Langston Hughes. مرحبًا، أنا جون غرين وهذه سلسلة Crash Course في الأدب، وسنناقش اليوم شعر لانغستون هيوز.

So the Harlem Renaissance was an early 20th Century movement in which writers and artists

of color explored what it means to be an artist, what it means to be black, and what it means

to be an American, and also what it means to be all three of those things at the same time. وأيضًا، معنى أن يكون تلك الصفات معًا في الوقت نفسه.

MFTP: Mr. Green, Mr. Green! Does the Harlem Renaissance have anything to do with that سيد غرين، سيد غرين، هل لنهضة هارلم علاقة

renaissance with, like, Leonardo de Vinci, and all of the other... Ninja Turtles? بالنهضة المرتبطة بليوناردو دافنشي وكل... سلاحف النينجا؟

Kind of, but the Harlem Renaissance happened a lot later than the European Renaissance, نوعًا ما، لكن نهضة هارلم حدثت بعد النهضة الأوروبية بوقت طويل،

also on a different continent, and there was much less plague and much more jazz. وكانت في قارة مختلفة وكان الطاعون أقل والجاز أكثر.

[Theme Music]

OK, so one journalist described the Harlem Renaissance this way: "What a crowd! All classes

and colors met face to face, ultra aristocrats, bourgeois, communists, Park Avenue galore,

bookers, publishers, Broadway celebs, and Harlemites giving each other the once over." ومشاهير برودواي وأهالي هارلم يتفحصون بعضهم بعضًا."

What's the once over? Is that a dirty thing, Stan? Apparently it is not a dirty thing. ماذا يقصد بـ"يتفحصون بعضهم"؟ هل هذا شيء سيئ يا ستان؟ يبدو أنه ليس كذلك.

The Harlem Renaissance began just after the First World War and lasted into the early

years of the Great Depression because it turns out it's pretty hard to have a renaissance

when no one has any money, as they found out in Venice. And like the European Renaissance, كما اكتشفوا في البندقية. ومثل النهضة الأوروبية،

it was a social and political movement, but also an artistic one. I mean it inspired literature

and poetry, music, drama, ethnography, publishing, dance, fashion, probably even some novelty cocktails. وربما حتى بعض المشروبات المستحدثة.

As Langston Hughes wrote about this time: "The negro was in vogue." كما كتب لانغستون هيوز عن تلك الحقبة: "الزنوج كانوا موضة".

Oh, it must be time for the open letter. Oh, look, it's a floating dictionary. An open letter to language. لا بد أن الوقت حان للرسالة المفتوحة. انظروا! إنه قاموس عائم. رسالة مفتوحة إلى اللغة.

Hey there language, how's it going? Don't say it's going good, language; say it's going well. مرحبًا أيتها اللغة، كيف حالك؟ اختاري الكلمة الصحيحة للإجابة أيتها اللغة.

So Langston Hughes often used the term "negro" to refer to African Americans, and when we استخدم لانغستون هيوز مصطلح "زنجي" للإشارة إلى الأمريكيين الأفارقة،

quote him or his poetry we're also going to use that term. But we won't use it when I'm

talking about African Americans or the African American experience because these days we أو عن التجربة الأمريكية الإفريقية لأننا هذه الأيام

understand that term to be offensive. I would argue that this is a good thing about language; نعتبر هذا المصطلح مسيئاً. أعتبر أن هذه ميزة جيدة في اللغة،

it has the opportunity to evolve and to become more inclusive. وهي أن لديها الفرصة لتتطور وتصبح أشمل.

In short, language, I love you and I am amazed by you every day. Sorry if that sounds creepy; باختصار أيتها اللغة، أنا أحبك، ويزداد إعجابي بك كل يوم. أعتذر إن كان هذا يبدو مخيفًا!

I feel I might start singing the song from The Bodyguard, so I'm just going to stop right now.

Best wishes, John Green

Right, so, the poems, essays, and novels of the Harlem Renaissance often discuss the so-called

double consciousness of the African American experience, a term coined by W.E.B. Dubois

in his book The Souls of Black Folk, and which you might remember from our To Kill a Mockingbird وقد تتذكرونه من حلقة "أن تقتل طائرًا محاكيًا".

episode. Some writers like Countee Cullen, and Claude McKay used poetic forms historically

associated with European white people, like the Shakespearean sonnet, the Petrarchan sonnet, مثل السوناتة الشكسبيرية والسوناتة البتراركية

and the villanelle, which is like a very fancy sonnet, but other writers, including Langston والفيلينيل، وهو شكل متطور من السوناتات، لكن كتّاب آخرين، بمن فيهم لانغستون هيوز،

Hughes, chose forms based on African and African American folk forms, you know, fables and

spirituals, children's rhymes, and blues songs.

This is actually part of Modernism generally, as artists sought to mix high and low culture وهذا حقيقةً جزء من حركة الحداثة بشكل عام، حيث سعى الفنانون لدمج الثقافتين

in an attempt to reinvent art. Like, see also Marcel Duchamp putting a toilet in an art gallery. العالية والمنخفضة في محاولة لإعادة اختراع الفن. مثل وضع مارسيل دوشامب مرحاض في معرض فني.

I should clarify: there were already toilets in art galleries; he was putting it there as art. عليّ التوضيح أنه كان هناك مراحيض في معارض الفنون، لكنه وضع هذا هناك كعمل فني.

Anyway, let's go to the Thought Bubble for some background on Langston Hughes. على أي حال، فلننتقل إلى فقاعة التفكير لمعرفة القليل عن حياة لانغستون هيوز.

Hughes was born in 1902 in Missouri to mixed-race parents, who divorced early. He grew up in وُلد هيوز عام 1902 في ميزوري لأبوين مختلطيّ الأعراق تطلقا سريعًا.

Kansas and began to write poetry in high school: mostly because white students chose him as

class poet. In his autobiography, he wrote: "Well, everyone knows -- except us -- that وقط كتب في سيرته الذاتية: "الجميع يعرفون، باستثنائنا،

all Negros have rhythm, so they elected me class poet. I felt I couldn't let my white

classmates down and I've been writing poetry ever since."

Hughes' father wanted him to become a mining engineer so Hughes went to Columbia University, أراد والد هيوز أن يكون ابنه مهندس تعدين فالتحق بجامعة كولومبيا،

but he left after his freshman year, in part because other students have snubbed him, and لكنه غادرها بعد سنته الأولى لأن التلاميذ الآخرين عاملوه بازدراء

in part because actually he didn't want to become a mining engineer. وأيضًا، لأنه في الحقيقة لم يرد أن يكون مهندس تعدين.

So he signed on to work on a boat, going more or less around the world, returning a couple ثم التحق بالعمل على سفينة وتقريبًا طاف حول العالم،

of years later, this is true, with a red-haired monkey named Jocko. He didn't enjoy the trip وعاد بعد بضع سنوات، وهذا صحيح، ومعه قرد أحمر الشعر واسمه جاكو.

very much but that might actually have been a good thing because as he wrote in his autobiography: لم يستمتع بالرحلة كثيرًا، لكن لعل ذلك كان مفيدًا، لأنه كما كتب في سيرته الذاتية:

"My best poems were all written when I felt the worst. When I was happy, I didn't write anything." "كتبت أفضل قصائدي وأنا في غاية الحزن، عندما كنت أشعر بالسعادة، لم أكن أكتب شيئاً."

Which stands in stark contrast to all the happy poets, you know: وهذا مناقض تمامًا لكل الشعراء السعداء،

Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath, Samuel Taylor Coleridge. أمثال إميلي ديكنسون وسيلفيا بلاث وسامويل تايلور كولريج.

Hughes aimed to write in accessible, familiar language, and in that he was influenced by

poets like Paul Laurence Dunbar, and also people like Carl Sandburg and Walt Whitman, وأناس مثل كارل سانبيرغ ووالت ويتمن،

all of whom wrote in vernacular, everyday language in the hopes that their work could

appeal to a larger audience. Thanks Thought Bubble.

So, as Hughes wrote in a 1927 essay, classical forms didn't support the work he wanted to do: الأشكال الأدبية الكلاسيكية لم تملك المقومات اللازمة للعمل الذي يريد تقديمه:

"Certainly the Shakespearean sonnet would be no mold in which to express the life of

Beale Street or Lenox Avenue nor could the emotions of State Street be captured in rondeau. ولا يمكن نقل المشاعر في شارع ستيت في قصائد الرندة.

I am not interested in doing tricks with rhymes. I am interested in reproducing the human soul, if I can." أنا لست مهتمًا بكتابة كلام مقفى بل بإعادة إنتاج الروح الإنسانية، إذا استطعت."

And this is what makes Hughes such an important poet. He brilliantly combines formal poetry

with the oral tradition, and he refuses to draw a bright line between fine art and folk art. ويرفض وضع حد واضح بين الفنون الجميلة والفنون الشعبية.

OK, in order to have a better understanding of Hughes' approach to poetry, let's look حسنًا، لنفهم بشكل أفضل مقاربة هيوز للشعر،

at an early manifesto he wrote called "The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain." دعونا نتفحص بيانًا قديمًا كتبه بعنوان "الفنان الزنجي والجبل العنصري".

In this essay, he criticizes other black writers for being too interested in white culture

and white forms. He writes: "This is the mountain standing in the way of any true Negro art يكتب: "هذا هو الجبل الذي يقف في طريق أي فن زنجي حقيقي في أمريكا،

in America-- this urge within the race toward whiteness, the desire to pour racial individuality ألا وهي الحاجة الملحة داخل عرقنا للتوجه لثقافة البيض، الرغبة في صب الفردية العنصرية

into the mold of American standardization, and to be as little Negro and as much American as possible." في قالب التنميط الأمريكي، وأن نكون أقل ما يمكن زنوجًا وأكثر ما يمكن أمريكيين".

Now, some black writers, like Countee Cullen, accused Hughes of being TOO black. Like in بعض الكتّاب السود، مثل كاونتي كولن، اتهموا هيوز بأنه "أسود مما يجب".

a review of Hughes' first book Cullen wrote, "There is too much emphasis of strictly Negro ففي نقد لأول كتاب لهيوز، كتب كولن: "هنا تركيز كبير على المواضيع الحصرية على الزنوج."

themes." But, then again, later on, James Baldwin would condemn Hughes for not diving لكن فيما بعد، يدين جيمس بالدوين هيوز

deep enough into African American experience; like Baldwin wrote that Hughes poems "take

refuge, finally, in a fake simplicity in order to avoid the very difficult simplicity of the experience." لتفادي بساطة صعبة جدًا للتجربة."

It's hard out there for a Langston Hughes. كانت حياة لانغستون هيوز صعبة. على أي حال، دعونا نقرر وحدنا.

Anyway, let's make up our own mind. I think the best way to get a sense of how Langston

Hughes expresses himself is probably to, like, actually read a couple of his poems. هي على الأرجح بقراءة بعض قصائده.

Let's begin with "The Negro Speaks of Rivers": فلنبدأ بقصيدة "الزنجي يتحدث عن الأنهار".

"I've known rivers: I've known rivers ancient as the world and "أعرف أنهارًا، أعرف أنهارًا عتيقة عتق الأرض

older than the flow of human blood in human veins. وأقدم من تدفق دم إنساني في العروق البشرية.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers. روحي غارت عميقًا كالأنهار.

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young. اغتسلت في الفرات في بواكير الضحى.

I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep. أقمت كوخي على ضفة الكونغو وهدهدني لأنام.

I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it. أشرفت على النيل وأعليت فوقه الأهرام.

I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln سمعت غناء المسيسيبي عندما حط إيب لنكون في نيو أورلينز

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. أعرف أنهارًا، أنهارًا عتيقة داكنة،

My soul has grown deep like the rivers." روحي غارت عميقًا كالأنهار."

Here's a bit of news that will be discouraging to most of you aspiring writers out there: سأخبركم بشيء سيكون محبطًا لمعظم الطامحين بأن يكونوا شعراء،

Hughes wrote that poem just after graduating from high school. He was riding a train to

see his estranged father and he passed over the Mississippi. He writes: "I began to think

about what that river, the old Mississippi, had meant to Negros in the past... Then I للزنوج في الماضي.

began to think about other rivers in the past--the Congo, and the Niger, and the Nile in Africa--and ثم بدأت أفكر في أنهار أخرى في ماضينا، الكونغو والنيجر والنيل في أفريقيا،

the thought came to me: 'I've known rivers,' and I put it down on the back of an envelope

I had in my pocket, and within the space of ten or fifteen minutes, as the train gathered

speed in the dusk, I had written this poem."

Are you even serious? "Ten or fifteen minutes"! What? Really!

So "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" is in the lyric mode: it's poetry trying to capture

an internal emotional state. He uses the vision of these rivers to transcend his immediate استخدام صورة هذه الأنهار لتخطي علاقاته الحالية

relationships and to connect himself instead to all of his African forefathers, trading وربط نفسه بدلًا من ذلك بكل أجداده الأفارقة...

the immediate for the immortal. The repetition of "I've known rivers" at the beginning and مقايضة الحالي بالخالد. تكرار "أعرف أنهارًا" في البداية

"my soul has grown deep like the rivers" at the middle and end, gives the poem the feeling

of, like, a sermon or spiritual, in keeping with Hughes' use of folk forms. وهذا يتوافق مع طابع الأشكال الأدبية الشعبية لهيوز.

And then, there's the catalog of active verbs: "I bathed", "I built", "I listened", "I looked." ثم هناك الأفعال المبنية للمجهول: "اغتسلت"، "أقمت"، "سمعت"، "رأيت".

Those show people actively participating in human life and having agency; that even amid هذه الأفعال تبين أناسًا يشاركون في الحياة البشرية ويساهمون بدورهم،

oppression and dehumanization, these people were still building and listening and looking. وأنه حتى في وسط القمع والتجرد من الإنسانية، كان أولئك الناس ما زالوا يبنون ويسمعون ويرون.

And then, in the latter part of the poem, there are adjectives that in other poems might

be used pejoratively, like "muddy" and "dusky", that are linked with other adjectives, "golden",

"ancient", that encourage us to perceive them in a far more positive light. So, darkness

and brownness are seen as lustrous and valuable and revered.

And I know that some of you will say, oh, you're overreading the poem: Hughes didn't وأعرف أن بعضكم قد يقول إني أبالغ في تفسير معنى القصيدة،

mean any of this stuff. To which I say: it doesn't matter. These are still interesting

and cool uses of language. Although, as it happens, I'm not overreading it. رغم هذا، اعلموا أني لا أبالغ في التفسير.

Anyway, let's look at one more poem, "Harlem", written in 1951: المهم، دعونا نتفحص قصيدة أخرة هي "هارلم" التي كتبها عام 1951:

"What happens to a dream deferred? "ماذا يحدث لحلم مؤجل؟

Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? هل يجف كزبيبة تحت الشمس؟

Or fester like a sore— And then run? أم يتقرح مثل جرح ثم يتقيح؟

Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over—

like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?" أم هل يتفجر؟"

The dream here is likely a version of the American dream, a dream that at the time Hughes

wrote the poem was still denied to most African Americans. And in that sense, it's kind of

optimistic that Hughes uses the term deferred, rather than, like, destroyed or forbidden. بدلًا من محطم أو محظور.

There's also a great moment earlier in that same book of poems in which Hughes writes, هناك أيضًا لحظة رائعة في كتاب القصائد ذاته يقول فيها هيوز:

"Good morning Daddy, aint you heard, the boogie woogie rumble, of a dream deferred", which "صباح الخير يا أبي، ألم تسمع قعقعة كصوت البووغي ووغي لحلم تأجل؟"

uses the conventions of blues music to associate the deferral of the dream with, like, a boogie-woogie rumble. ويستخدم فيه مصطلحات موسيقى البلوز لربط تأجيل حلم بقعقعة البووغي ووغي.

But the imagery in this poem is very negative: it often takes things that are sweet and then

makes them horrifying. You've got dried raisins, running sores. I guess sores aren't that sweet, فهناك الزبيب المجفف والجروح المتقيحة، أظن أن الجروح ليست أشياء حلوة،

but you do have crusty sweets. Even the verbs are negative: "dry", "fester", "stink", "crust", لكن لدينا حلوى متيبسة. حتى الأفعال سلبية: يجف، يتقيح، يتعفن، يتيبس، يتدلى.

"sag". And that works against any real optimism. This is made even more interesting and complicated وهذا يناقض أي تفاؤل حقيقي. ولعل ما يجعل هذا أكثر تشويقًا وتعقيدًا

by the fact that the poem sounds like a nursery rhyme: it has neat, perfect, one-syllable حقيقة أن القصيدة تبدو مثل أغنية أطفال، ففيها إيقاع مثالي من مقطع واحد،

rhymes like "sun" and "run", "meat" and "sweet". But then you have the layout of the poem,

which resists conventional stanzas, and that troubles the simplicity here. Also, the rhythm وهذا يخل بالبساطة هنا.

of the poem is always changing. Like, this isn't straight iambic pentameter or anything وأيضًا، وزن القصيدة يتغير باستمرار. إنه ليس الوزن العمبقي خماسي التفاعيل أو شيء من ذلك القبيل،

like that, and that makes it hard to build into a comfortable pace as the reader. And وهذا يجعل من الصعب تتبع نمط مريح كقارئ.

then there's that last line, "Or does it explode", which from a meter perspective is totally ثم هناك تلك العبارة الأخيرة "أم هل يتفجر؟" وهي من منطور الوزن مذهلة جدًا،

fascinating because there's a stress on every single syllable: Or. Does. It. Ex-plode. لأن هناك تشديد على كل مقطع: أم هل يتفجر.