Typically, here at Wordmonger, I ask you to peer into the history of a word, idioms based on it, its various meanings, or maybe the relationships between it and another word. This week, I hope you’ll consider the power of words artfully & meaningfully strung together.
Following, you’ll find an excerpt of Langston Hughes’ poem, “Let America Be America Again”. Please humor me. Sit up straight. Take a big, calming breath, then read these two stanzas aloud. They deserve that.
I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean--
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.
Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home--
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”
Interested in the rest of the poem? Check it out here.
My thanks go out to this week’s sources: poets.org & Walter Lowenfels’ The Writing on the Wall: 108 American Poems of Protest
I write for teens & tweens, bake bread, play music, and ponder the wonder of words in a foggy little town on California's central coast.
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