Langston Hughes was an American writer committed to his people, Afro-Americans, who suffered under segregation and discriminatory laws. His concern forjustice drove him to write in a number of literary genres, including poetry, short stories, novels, plays, and essays.
Hughes wrote his Dream Variations in 1924. The poem:
It’s a short poem ofseventeen lines, in which there is a visual separation: 2 stanzas. The first one is consisted of 9 lines; the second one consisted of 8 lines. There is noconsistent rhythmic structure. In the 1st stanza of the poem, the poet describes his dream. He is in a sunny place, his arms fling wide as he whirls and dances until the end of the day. At evening, he restsbeneath a tall tree. The images of the sun, dancing and a tall tree seem to suggest an exotic paradise free of worry and where the spirit can be liberated. The second stanza presents the same imagesin more intense form. In both stanzas, the place of the dream is a land of joy where the poet feels free. Furthermore, the references to dark and black in positive terms also seem to indicate thatthis is a place where blackness is celebrated, not condemned (t). Those two themes, the dream motif and the celebration of the darkness, define the meaning of the poem.
I. The dream motif
The poetdescribes a dream that he is having where he is on a faraway place and things are good. It is an intensely personal dream. The first stanza is descriptive, it uses infinitives to whirl, to dance, andis syntactically organized, using then, while. The poet describes a dream in rational terms. The second stanza, on the other hand, is fragmented by the punctuation, elliptical and intensified, as aredreams. The poet wants to escape from reality in reviving more intensely his dream in the image of the second stanza. Hughes longs for his dream but dreams decay in reality.
Actually, his dream is...