Poem of the Month: July

“A poem is like a score for the human voice.”
— Li-Young Lee
“A poem is like a score for the human voice.”
— Li-Young Lee

This one is my favorite Langston Hughes poems. I love the confidence, strength, and self-love of the poem. At first the poem sounds patriotic, and I do think that theme continues to the end, with patriotism for a race and for one’s self. The seemingly simple phrase that I too am America serves as a reminder that we are all America.

I,Too

by 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.

 

 

(Image found here.)

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