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(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967 / Missouri)

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Advertisement For The Waldorf-Astoria

Fine living . . . a la carte?
Come to the Waldorf-Astoria!

LISTEN HUNGRY ONES!
Look! See what Vanity Fair says about the
new Waldorf-Astoria:

"All the luxuries of private home. . . ."
Now, won't that be charming when the last flop-house
has turned you down this winter?
Furthermore:
"It is far beyond anything hitherto attempted in the hotel
world. . . ." It cost twenty-eight million dollars. The fa-
mous Oscar Tschirky is in charge of banqueting.
Alexandre Gastaud is chef. It will be a distinguished
background for society.
So when you've no place else to go, homeless and hungry
ones, choose the Waldorf as a background for your rags--
(Or do you still consider the subway after midnight good
enough?)

ROOMERS
Take a room at the new Waldorf, you down-and-outers--
sleepers in charity's flop-houses where God pulls a
long face, and you have to pray to get a bed.
They serve swell board at the Waldorf-Astoria. Look at the menu, will
you:

GUMBO CREOLE
CRABMEAT IN CASSOLETTE
BOILED BRISKET OF BEEF
SMALL ONIONS IN CREAM
WATERCRESS SALAD
PEACH MELBA

Have luncheon there this afternoon, all you jobless.
Why not?
Dine with some of the men and women who got rich off of
your labor, who clip coupons with clean white fingers
because your hands dug coal, drilled stone, sewed gar-
ments, poured steel to let other people draw dividends
and live easy.
(Or haven't you had enough yet of the soup-lines and the bit-
ter bread of charity?)
Walk through Peacock Alley tonight before dinner, and get
warm, anyway. You've got nothing else to do.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003


Read poems about / on: women, winter, house, people, home, god, world, woman

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Comments about this poem (Cultural Exchange by Langston Hughes )

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  • Jetty J Newnham (10/11/2013 7:11:00 PM)

    This is one of my favourite poems by Hughes poems! Still relevant today. And it's black history month so read Langston Hughes!

    14 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • Allan Lindsay (5/25/2013 9:22:00 AM)

    So what is a poem? Do tell.

  • Stephen W (12/27/2012 4:04:00 PM)

    Not really a poem at all, just an oddly formatted essay.
    Too many people want to write polemic poetry, but are too snobby to adopt its natural form, which is a kind of angry doggerel.

  • * Sunprincess * (10/5/2012 5:21:00 PM)

    thought provoking and sad.. :)

  • C.d. Xiang (4/3/2009 9:52:00 PM)

    Irrevocably entertaining!

  • Sophia Pone (1/25/2008 9:46:00 AM)

    You are agreat writter

Read all 6 comments »

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