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 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 >
George Herbert's "The Pulley" means that man is always restless and striving for more, and that this is necessary to force mankind to seek God and be good. The first stanza talks about how God wanted to bless mankind as much as possible. The second is one of the keys of the poem, and it states that God blessed man with everything except rest.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 >
In the poem "Life Is Fine" by Langston Hughes, the speaker talks about things he might do if other circumstances did not exist. For one, if the water in the river was not so cold, he would stay in and drown. If his apartment had not been so high, he might have jumped from it and died.Full Answer >