Langston Hughes

(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967 / Missouri)

As I Grew Older


It was a long time ago.
I have almost forgotten my dream.
But it was there then,
In front of me,
Bright like a sun—
My dream.
And then the wall rose,
Rose slowly,
Slowly,
Between me and my dream.
Rose until it touched the sky—
The wall.
Shadow.
I am black.
I lie down in the shadow.
No longer the light of my dream before me,
Above me.
Only the thick wall.
Only the shadow.
My hands!
My dark hands!
Break through the wall!
Find my dream!
Help me to shatter this darkness,
To smash this night,
To break this shadow
Into a thousand lights of sun,
Into a thousand whirling dreams
Of sun!

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003
Edited: Wednesday, November 13, 2013

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Comments about this poem (As I Grew Older by Langston Hughes )

  • Rookie - 88 Points Nadia Robb (1/21/2015 10:37:00 AM)

    So passionately written. Hughes knows how to paint a picture with his words! There seemed to be a moment to which he rescinded into the shadow of himself if just to think about what had happened to his dream. His dream no longer shining brightly before him, there instead is the realization of the barriers more prominent than his dreams. With a final surge of inspiration he vows to break down the wall almost single-handedly to reveal the light of possibilities to all who dream even those who face adversity. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 39,733 Points Aftab Alam Khursheed (11/3/2014 9:14:00 PM)

    The stormy life of Langston's life and the dream for self and for his people I just love the words and great thought- And then the wall rose, Rose slowly, Slowly, Between me and my dream.Rose until it touched the sky- hope and energy giver the word selection Rose- noun Rose a verb. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 3 Points Abdallah Mpogole (10/22/2014 6:31:00 AM)

    Well thinker, well set and well met.! (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 2,912 Points Abekah Emmanuel (9/6/2014 3:30:00 PM)

    Hughes never stop amusing me with his often short but deeply emotional words and ideas. I simply love this poem to the fullest! (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 2,912 Points Abekah Emmanuel (9/6/2014 3:29:00 PM)

    Hughes never stop amusing me with his often short but deeply emotional words and ideas. I simply love this poem to the fullest! (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 28,919 Points Gajanan Mishra (7/9/2014 8:31:00 AM)

    help me to shatter this darkness, good one, thanks, (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 4,243 Points Primrose Tee (7/2/2014 1:47:00 PM)

    I like the imagery.... nice work (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 242 Points Nancy Oyula (6/11/2014 9:05:00 AM)

    Couldn't be written better, well put (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 2,323 Points Melikhaya Zagagana (5/7/2014 10:28:00 AM)

    The Man standing, i love Mr. Hughes he is very honest and realistic in ways of writing, he dreams real life. (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,842 Points Babatunde Aremu (5/6/2014 3:01:00 PM)

    Very simple and wonderful lines. Easy to relate with (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 762 Points Michelle Claus (5/6/2014 2:25:00 PM)

    I love how Langston Hughes remained with the imagery of wall, black, and shadow for 15 lines. As a poetic technique, this hammers down one of his main points - oppression imposes stagnation. Then Hughes interjected, Break through the wall! This line has powerful impact, because we were with the wall and the shadow for 15 lines prior. I love this poem. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 24,387 Points Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (5/6/2014 4:29:00 AM)

    good and awesome poem.social issues in best of lines. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 685 Points Birgitta Abimbola Heikka (5/4/2014 9:12:00 PM)

    We write from experiences and I can identify with the words in this poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Shobana Gomes (4/30/2014 7:35:00 AM)

    How explicitly vivid about reaching out for dreams and breaking barriers for it to come true. Excellent poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Joseph Sanchez (4/28/2014 11:43:00 AM)

    you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
    Or being hated don't give way to hating,
    And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise; (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 13,873 Points * Sunprincess * (4/26/2014 7:29:00 PM)

    ........to fight for our dreams....could this be what life is all about....an amazing poem... (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,627 Points Herbert Guitang (4/25/2014 7:32:00 AM)

    Growing older is a difficult to face. But maturity is the strength to stand on it. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 24,387 Points Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (4/12/2014 10:17:00 AM)

    A true spirited poem relevant to the personal identities and cultures of the world. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 57 Points Noctiluca Scintillans (4/1/2014 5:03:00 AM)

    We might lose our dreams once in a while, but we are bound to swam across even the deepest seas to reach out our dreams (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Billy Sanders (3/11/2014 6:38:00 PM)

    hi (Report) Reply

Read all 93 comments »

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