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“The Negro Speaks of Rivers” by Langston Hughes

The Negro Speaks of Rivers

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.

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln
went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy
bosom turn all golden in the sunset.

I’ve known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

 

Langston Hughes, 1902-1967

From The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
© 1994 the Estate of Langston Hughes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo of hands underwater by Mishal Ibrahim on Unsplash
Photo of figure by mwangi gatheca on Unsplash

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