First published in 1921, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”, became Hughes’s signature poem, collected in his first book of poetry “The Weary Blues”. James Mercer Langston Hughes was an American poet, one of the earliest innovators of the literary art form called jazz poetry. He is known as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance in New York City.
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?