Friday, May 6, 2011

Langston Hughes Friday.

When I was a kid, 15 or 16, my best friend Fred showed me a poem he liked by Langston Hughes. Fred had--still has--the "gift of quiet," an inestimable quality in a person. The poem was called "Impasse."


I could tell you, if I wanted to,

What makes me what I am.

But I don't really want to --

And you don't give a damn.

Fred turned me onto Langston Hughes and I quickly read just about everything of Hughes' that I could including his great "Simple" essays written by Jess E. Semple.

The poem of Hughes' that really sent me was "Motto." I keep it in the front of my head when I need to keep a lid on things and I've taught it to my daughters for that same reason.


I play it cool
I dig all jive,
That's the reason
I stay alive.

My motto
As I live and learn
Is dig and be dug
In return.