writer’s seminar

Langston Hughes


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writing response

poem: The Weary Blues by Langston Hughes

A man walks home from work in a suit with his blazer slung over the back of his shoulder. His other hand is dragging an opened suitcase scraping the sidewalk. The man has poor posture and is unaware of what he is walking towards or the papers that are flying out of his case. He has just been fired from his job which has become the tipping point to his sadness. Approaching a bridge, he packs up the briefcase and lines it up to the bridge railing using it as a step stool to get on the ledge. Suddenly, he hears music echoing behind him. The soul of the voices and instruments run through his suit sending chills all over his body. He settles on the ledge closing his eyes and dreams of watching Louis Armstrong performing live which fills enough happiness for a week’s worth of smiling. The man spins to face the tune and sees three dimly lit men in rags performing like it’s their anthem. Their aura lights up the riverside making the grass stand taller and the leaves the slightest bit greener. The man sees their smiles and gratitude for having nothing but bins and voices. He inspects his situation and sees the gratefulness that he should be feeling because of his tailored suit and leather case. A burst of energy surges within him as he throws his jacket on the ground and loosens his tie around his neck. The music trails him to the three men while the blazer and briefcase lay motionless; dead like a rock.

emulation from Warsan Shire’s “Home (What We Have)”

 Look at her mask, her skin, those lips, those eyes, my god, listen to that laugh. She laughed with her whole body. Living up the joy, just to make her seem content. A face hiding sadness that shouldn’t be. She walks around holding so much inside but is afraid of the vulnerability that comes with showing her feelings. However, she doesn’t want happiness. She doesn’t want to have the memory of joy because if she looks back on it, she will only dwell on the happiness and wish it was forever. 




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