Harlem by Langston Hughes: Reading and Meditation

May 31, 2020  • Todd Breyfogle

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Harlem, Langston Hughes


What happens to a dream deferred? Langston Hughes’ compact answer: It dries, It festers. It stinks. It’s masked. It burdens. Any one…and all of the above. And then?

A dream deferred is a promise unfulfilled. What dreams have I deferred? Which of Hughes’ six descriptions best fits the state of my deferred dreams? And as I answer these questions for myself, I ask also—how do my deferrals contribute to deferring the dreams of others? We are the inheritors of interwoven dreams. What dream deferred are we no longer willing to postpone?

Todd Breyfogle, Denver, Colorado

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