Langston Hughes

(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967 / Missouri)

Mother To Son - Poem by Langston Hughes

Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
It's had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
Bare.
But all the time
I'se been a-climbin' on,
And reachin' landin's,
And turnin' corners,
And sometimes goin' in the dark
Where there ain't been no light.
So, boy, don't you turn back.
Don't you set down on the steps.
'Cause you finds it's kinder hard.
Don't you fall now—
For I'se still goin', honey,
I'se still climbin',
And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.


Comments about Mother To Son by Langston Hughes

  • Rookie - 129 Points Chandra Shekar K (5/11/2015 11:45:00 AM)

    Very good caution to the son. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Rookie - 129 Points Chandra Shekar K (5/11/2015 11:41:00 AM)

    Mother gives a caution to the son's life ahead. Good way to protect the child from hardships. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 28,899 Points Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (3/4/2015 9:25:00 AM)

    right advises to the son.loves the poem. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 28,899 Points Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (3/4/2015 9:25:00 AM)

    right advises to the son.loves the poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Lillian walke (2/1/2015 11:35:00 AM)

    Love this poem (Report) Reply

  • Rookie iasia webster (1/24/2015 10:46:00 AM)

    Wow (Report) Reply

  • Rookie cynthia smith (1/18/2015 9:35:00 PM)

    7th grade recital still remember every word. My mom was so proud!! (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 39,733 Points Aftab Alam Khursheed (10/31/2014 10:26:00 PM)

    This is the poem here protagonist as a mother putting fire on dead soul- strong call to change.change or awake awake to the young generations (to the son) ..very powerful write (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 7,925 Points Frank Avon (9/1/2014 4:39:00 PM)

    One of my favorites for a long, long time. (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 4,240 Points Primrose Tee (7/2/2014 1:52:00 PM)

    Keep on keeping on son for you see,not all of us were born with silver spoons... (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 14,297 Points * Sunprincess * (5/13/2014 10:00:00 AM)

    .......nicely written...truly life isn't easy for anyone... (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 3,327 Points Herbert Guitang (4/25/2014 7:59:00 AM)

    Life is full of challenges to face. This poem is like a mirror to us. He is a Great poet (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Billy Sanders (3/11/2014 6:23:00 PM)

    Hi, i'm Billy (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 79 Points Mazhur Butt (1/16/2014 1:28:00 PM)

    an everlasting poem...... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Maiya Evans (12/18/2013 8:05:00 PM)

    Mother To Son is clearly saying that with perserverence comes success. Because if you try over and over again you can get somewhere in life. Whereas if you give up after the first time you try, then you know that you won't be able to accomplish anything in life. Like the singer P! nk once said, You gotta get up and try, try, try. The mother in this poem is portayed as an uneducated lady who struggled through life. Since she went through all this herself, she doesn't want her son going down the same path she went down. In the poem his mother says that life for me ain't been no crystal stair, which shows that life for her was very difficult and wasnt clear cut like how some people's lives may seem. When she implies that the staircase has had tacks in it, And splinters, And boards torn up, And places with no carpet on the floor— Bare, she's saying that there were obstacles along the way while she experienced many things. But afterwards she states that I'se been a-climbin' on, And reachin' landin's, And turnin' corners, And sometimes goin' in the dark where there ain't been no light, that no matter what life threw at her, she found a way to get through it all. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 9 Points Emeyazia Iwe Chukwudi (8/22/2013 3:19:00 PM)

    Great poem with a great moral. Well done. Langston hughes. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Te'anna Nixon (8/21/2012 6:35:00 PM)

    i love your poem it teaches us that no matter what we go through in life bucause its going to be hard we can't give up on life or on the challenges it throws at you (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Katelyn Lazard (2/16/2012 4:49:00 PM)

    I like your poem. It is very touchies (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Peacefull Nontokozo (10/11/2011 7:14:00 AM)

    to my son THANDOKUHLE, mom love you boy (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Francine Menaker (9/20/2011 3:53:00 PM)

    This poem is not only toching and inspiring, the imagery is amazing. The juxtaposition of the smoothness of the crystal stair with the tacks. I've read this poem for over 40 years and it still conjures up incredible images - in the most simple way. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: sometimes, son, dark, light, mother, life, time



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

Poem Edited: Thursday, December 18, 2014


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