The central meaning of Langston Hughes' poem "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" revolves around the importance of roots and the way they provide meaning in life. Even though the specific word "roots" does not appear in this poem, details in the text point the reader toward rivers, veins, tree roots and other timeless objects. By using images and languages, Hughes creates a dual meaning for this theme, both in terms of depth and heritage.
The idea of roots appears in the very first stanza, as the speaker indicates that he has experienced rivers that are just as old as the world itself, even older than the first human blood. After this, the veins that course through the body are compared to images of winding rivers, and the implication is that this poem has more to comment about than just geographical features and blood vessels but is instead about the root systems that are a part of life. These ancient rivers in the poem are like veins and roots, because they provide the nurturing sustenance that supports life. The connection of ancient civilizations living off rivers gives that sense of roots even further depth, and it is these roots that, to the speaker, give life meaning.Learn More
The meaning of the poem "Huswifery" depicts the desires of Edward Taylor to be closer to God while doing everything that is pleasing to the Puritan religion. The name of the poem is based off of the daily tasks that were expected of Puritan housewives, like spinning and weaving.Full Answer >
The speaker of "Sea Fever" is someone who has sailed before and wishes to do so again. The speaker lists all the things that he loves about sailing and the sea.Full Answer >
The poem "Bonsai" by Edith Tiempo is about love and how people imbue certain objects with love for a person, and those objects become the symbol of love. Edith Tiempo starts out her poem by describing what she does with love. She folds it to make it smaller so that she can keep it in a box, hollow post or shoe. Because love is an abstract concept and has no physical form, she is obviously talking about objects.Full Answer >
"Immigrants," a poem by Pat Mora, explores immigrant parents sacrificing their ethnic identity and money to provide for their children. These sacrifices are due to the parents worrying about whether or not American society will accept their children.Full Answer >