Sunday, 10 March 2013

Poem: Dreams by Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow. 

James Mercer Langston Hughes was born on February 1, 1902, in Joplin, Missouri. One of his teachers introduced him to the poetry of Carl Sandburg and Walt Whitman, both whom Langston later cite as primary influences. Langston first poem was published in 1921 and it was “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” that was published in The Crisis. Langston was among the first to use jazz rhythms and dialect to depict the life of blacks in his work. The poetry book, The Weary Blues, had popular appeal and established both his commitment to black themes and heritage and his style of writing his poems. Langston died on May 22, 1967. 

I believe that the poem Dreams are about dreams. Langston Hughes is giving us our motivation and inspiration to hold onto the dreams we dream to accomplish. Dreams are what make us feel like human beings. Without this dreams, what is life worth living for. I mean in life, we always feel like we have to accomplish something and that is what dreams are for. We dream for what we believe is better for us. 

In the poem, Dreams, Langston is telling us to hold onto our dreams. We may let go of some dreams but we hold onto the dreams that is more important to us even if it’s hard to. Everything in life is full of obstacles, sometimes we tend to give up on things because we believe it’s easier. Well you’ll never know if you never try and accomplish that dream. Sometimes the dreams we dreamt of isn’t meant for us. 

We will never know what the future has for us unless we try and change that dream into a reality. Life is full of what ifs and everyone is scared or nervous to accomplish a dream because they’ll never know the outcomes of the efforts they made for that dream. I love Langston encourages us to hold onto our dreams because he knows that dreams are not what for the weak but for human beings. People tend to criticize other people’s dreams but they are not that person. They shouldn’t tell that person that they can’t accomplish that dream but better motivate them because in life we should answer our what ifs instead of questioning it.   


The title, Dreams, is obviously about dreams. I believe that Langston is telling us to fulfill the dreams that we have.

Hold onto your dreams
For if dreams die
Life’s like a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold onto your dreams
For when dreams go
Life is an infertile field
Frozen with snow. 

1. Structure: 2 Tercet and 2 line, Rhyme Scheme - None, Meter - Free Verse, Punctuation - Period
2. Speaker: Hold onto your dreams, Audience: We are holding onto it
3. Figurative Language: Simile (None), Metaphor (broken-winged bird, barren field)
4. Imagery: Sight (Barren field, broken-winged bird), Touch (Snow, bird, land), Smell (none), Hear (none), Taste (none)
5: Repetition: Hold fast to dreams

Loving, thoughtful, lighthearted, dreamy, encouraging, hopeful, joyful, and peaceful. 

1st Line (Line 1) – Tells us to hold onto our dreams fast
2nd Tercet (Lines 2-4) – Compares dreams as a broken-winged bird if dreams were dead
3rd Line (Line 5) – Tells us to hold onto our dreams fast
4th Tercet (Lines 6-8) – Compares dreams to a frozen barren field when dreams go

The 2 lines are telling us to hold onto our dreams while the 2 Tercets compares the dreams to what they are if we don't hold onto it.

The poem is about the title. Langston tells us to hold onto our dreams because he knows that life isn't worth living for if we have no dreams. Dreams are makes life full of life. 

There are 4 possible themes in this poem:
1. Always hold onto your dreams no matter what.
2. You can accomplish your dreams if you try your best.
3. If dreams were gone, life would be dead.
4. The dreams that we dreamt will not be fulfilled if we don't do anything.

Hughes, L. (1926). Dreams. Poem Hunter. Website. Retrieved from

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