Langston Hughes quotes

“Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly.”
― Langston Hughes

 

“Life is for the living.
Death is for the dead.
Let life be like music.
And death a note unsaid.”
― Langston Hughes

 

“Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.”
― Langston Hughes

 

“I went down to the river,
I set down on the bank.
I tried to think but couldn’t,
So I jumped in and sank.”
― Langston Hughes

 

“Humor is laughing at what you haven’t got when you ought to have it.”
― Langston Hughes

 

“Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love.
I like to work, read, learn, and understand life.”
― Langston Hughes

 

 

“I loved my friend
He went away from me
There’s nothing more to say
The poem ends,
Soft as it began-
I loved my friend.”
― Langston Hughes

 

 

“I have discovered in life that there are ways of getting almost anywhere you want to go, if you really want to go.”
― Langston Hughes

 

“Looks like what drives me crazy
Don’t have no effect on you–
But I’m gonna keep on at it
Till it drives you crazy, too.”
― Langston Hughes

 

“Harlem

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?”
― Langston Hughes

 

“Folks, I’m telling you,
birthing is hard
and dying is mean-
so get yourself
a little loving
in between.”
― Langston Hughes

 

“I stay cool, and dig all jive,
That’s the way I stay alive.
My motto,
as I live and learn,
is
Dig and be dug
In return.”
― Langston Hughes

 

“Hold fast to dreams
for if dreams die
life is a broken-winged bird
that can not fly.

Hold fast to dreams
for when dreams go
life is a barren field
frozen with snow.”
― Langston Hughes

 

“I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

Tomorrow,
I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
Then.

Besides,
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed–

I, too, am America.”
― Langston Hughes

 

“Oh, God of Dust and Rainbows,
Help us to see
That without the dust the rainbow
Would not be.”
― Langston Hughes

 

 

“Though you may hear me holler,
And you may see me cry–
I’ll be dogged, sweet baby,
If you gonna see me die.”
― Langston Hughes

 

“So since I’m still here livin’,
I guess I will live on.
I could’ve died for love–
But for livin’ I was born.”
― Langston Hughes

 

“I swear to the Lord,I still can’t see,Why Democracy means,Everybody but me. ”
― Langston Hughes

 

 

“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.”
― Langston Hughes

 

“Gather out of star-dust,
Earth-dust,
Cloud-dust,
Storm-dust,
And splinters of hail,
One handful of dream-dust,
Not for sale.”
― Langston Hughes

 

“To some people
Love is given,
To others
Only Heaven.”
― Langston Hughes

 

“…the only way to get a thing done is to start to do it, then keep on doing it, and finally you’ll finish it,….”
― Langston Hughes

 

“Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor —
Bare.
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now —
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.”
― Langston Hughes

 

“Out of love,
No regrets–
Though the goodness
Be wasted forever.

Out of love,
No regrets–
Though the return
Be never.”
― Langston Hughes

“I asked you, baby,
If you understood-
You told me that you didn’t,
But you thought you would.”
― Langston Hughes

 

 

“Yet the ivory gods, And the ebony gods, And the gods of diamond-jade, Are only silly puppet gods That people themselves Have made.-”
― Langston Hughes

 

 

“An artist must be free to choose what he does, certainly, but he must also never be afraid to do what he might choose”
― langston hughes

 

“The sea is a desert of waves,
A wilderness of water.”
― Langston Hughes

 

“I am so tired of waiting.
Aren’t you,
for the world to become good
and beautiful and kind?
Let us take a knife
and cut the world in two —
and see what worms are eating
at the rind.”
― Langston Hughes

 

 

“Good morning, Revolution: You’re the very best friend I ever had. We gonna pal around together from now on”
― Langston Hughes

 

“Cheap little rhymes
A cheap little tune
Are sometimes as dangerous
As a sliver of the moon.”
― Langston Hughes

 

“The calm, Cool face of the river, Asked me for a kiss”
― Langston Hughes

 

“I tire so of hearing people say,
Let things take their course.
Tomorrow is another day.
I do not need my freedom when I’m dead.
I cannot live on tomorrow’s bread.”
― Langston Hughes

 

“When peoples care for you and cry for you, they can straighten out your soul.”
― Langston Hughes

 

“Believing everything she read
In the daily news,
(No in-between to choose)
She thought that only
One side won,
Not that BOTH
Might lose.”
― Langston Hughes

 

“When a man starts out to build a world,
He starts first with himself”
― Langston Hughes

 

“The Dream Keeper

Bring me all of your dreams,
You dreamer,
Bring me all your
Heart melodies
That I may wrap them
In a blue cloud-cloth
Away from the too-rough fingers
Of the world.”
― Langston Hughes

 

“How still,
How strangely still
The water is today,
It is not good
For water
To be so still that way.

~ “Sea Calm”
― Langston Hughes

 

“Negroes
Sweet and docile,
Meek, humble, and kind:
Beware the day
They change their minds!

Wind
In the cotton fields,
Gentle breeze:
Beware the hour
It uproots trees!”
― Langston Hughes

 

“LIBERTY!
FREEDOM!
DEMOCRACY!
True anyhow no matter how many
Liars use those words.”
― Langston Hughes

 

“I dream a world where man
No other man will scorn,
Where love will bless the earth
And peace its paths adorn
I dream a world where all
Will know sweet freedom’s way,
Where greed no longer saps the soul
Nor avarice blights our day.
A world I dream where black or white,
Whatever race you be,
Will share the bounties of the earth
And every man is free,
Where wretchedness will hang its head
And joy, like a pearl,
Attends the needs of all mankind-
Of such I dream, my world!”
― Langston Hughes

 

 

“Sometimes a crumb falls
From the tables of joy,
Sometimes a bone
Is flung.

To some people
Love is given,
To others
Only heaven.”
― Langston Hughes

 

“America is a dream.
The poet says it was promises.
The people say it is promises—that will come true.
The people do not always say things out loud,
Nor write them down on paper.
The people often hold
Great thoughts in their deepest hearts
And sometimes only blunderingly express them,
Haltingly and stumbling say them,
And faultily put them into practice.
The people do not always understand each other.
But there is, somewhere there,
Always the trying to understand,
And the trying to say,
“You are a man. Together we are building our land.”
― Langston Hughes

 

 

“My old man’s a white old man
And my old mother’s black.
If ever I cursed my white old man
I take my curses back.
If ever I cursed my black old mother
And wished she were in hell,
I’m sorry for that evil wish
And now i wish her well
My old man died in a fine big house
My Ma died in a shack.
I wonder were i’m going to die,
Being neither white nor black?”
― Langston Hughes

 

“Life is a egg you have to be patient and carefull with it or it will brake”
― Langston Hughes

 

“Gather up In the arms of your love—Those who expect No love from above.”
― Langston Hughes

 

“I wish the rent Was heaven sent.”
― Langston Hughes

 

“Most musicians remain poor. But the music that they make, even if it does not bring them millions, gives millions of people happiness.”
― Langston Hughes

 

 

“I stuck my head out the window this morning and spring kissed me bang in the face.”
― Langston Hughes

 

“The past has been a mint Of blood and sorrow. That must not be True of tomorrow.”
― Langston Hughes

 

“I’ve been scared and battered. My hopes the wind done scattered. Snow has friz me, Sun has baked me, Looks like between ’em they done Tried to make me Stop laughin’, stop lovin’, stop livin’– But I don’t care! I’m still here!”
― Langston Hughes

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