Monday, September 08, 2008

Dreams Deferred

Alright, I seem to have used up all my Dragon*Con material, so I would suppose that it's back to how my health is doing and all that. I think I want to talk about something else today, something different. Not politics, at least not now anyway. Let's talk literature. Here's the reason why...

Most folks know that I'm taking Composition II as I end my freshman year and head in being sophmore year at South Univeristy. My instructor, Dr. Hoit-Thetford a.k.a. Dr. H has been a great teacher to me and helping me to broaden my horizons when it comes to literature. I've read some great stories in the past, but I guess never really read any classics.before. Blame it on public schools if you want. I mean, I read books and stuff. I know who Flannery O'Connor and O. Henry are. I also know who Steven King and Robert Heinlin are as well. I just never really got into the good stuff until I started college.

Through my Comp II class (and Dr. H) I discovered the works of Langston Hughes. Have you ever checked out his poetry? Here's one that is his best.

A Dream Deferred 

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up

like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore--

And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?

Or crust and sugar over--

like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags

like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?
That is a great poem, in my opinion. I loved it so much that I had planned to write a litteray analysis on what it truly means. There was just one problem: I got stuck.
When you write an analysis, it's needs to be written with the reasoning of why it was written in that way, with do those words. What do they mean and why did the author write them? Where I got stuck was why did I take it so personal and why did such a piece effect me so greatly?
To be honest, once again I let my life catch up with me again. Work, school, health, all that. It began it's mad whirlpool in my brain once again to the point to where I began to think that maybe I should just take a break from school and get my head right for a few months. When I supposed to start work on the paper, I was given news about my legs and what would/could be happening soon. I was also given other medical news that I'm not ready to talk about yet, but that news would/could come very soon and its importance could change the entire rulebook for everything that has happened over the past few years. Because of all that, I began to take the poem to heart. Just what does become of a dream defered? Anything that I had written down couldn't answer it. I couldn't even explain it to friends as it hit me hard. I had never felt this way before. Because of all that, I could face a really crappy grade for Comp II, all because I let a poem get to me. I guess I deserve that. If this is what reading great literature does to a person, then it has done it's job. It made me think.
There's no worries, thank Peschi. I talked to Dr. H and I have less than two weeks to have a rough and final draft of my essay on "A Dream Deferred" on her desk. I sat down with a writer friend of mine yesterday and he helped me find a new way of looking at the poem, which makes me very happy. I'm just glad that I now know that this what a writer is supposed to do: To make the reader react.

Thanks, Dr. H. You read this Langston Hughes poem in class and now I'm posting it here for everyone.

Theme for English B

The instructor said,

Go home and write

a page tonight.

And let that page come out of you--

Then, it will be true.

I wonder if it's that simple?

I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem.

I went to school there, then Durham, then here

to this college on the hill above Harlem.

I am the only colored student in my class.

The steps from the hill lead down into Harlem,

through a park, then I cross St. Nicholas,

Eighth Avenue, Seventh, and I come to the Y,

the Harlem Branch Y, where I take the elevator

up to my room, sit down, and write this page:

It's not easy to know what is true for you or me

at twenty-two, my age. But I guess I'm what

I feel and see and hear, Harlem, I hear you:

hear you, hear me--we two--you, me, talk on this page.

(I hear New York, too.) Me--who?

Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love.

I like to work, read, learn, and understand life.

I like a pipe for a Christmas present,

or records--Bessie, bop, or Bach.

I guess being colored doesn't make me not like

the same things other folks like who are other races.

So will my page be colored that I write?

Being me, it will not be white.

But it will be

a part of you, instructor.

You are white--

yet a part of me, as I am a part of you.

That's American.

Sometimes perhaps you don't want to be a part of me.

Nor do I often want to be a part of you.

But we are, that's true!

As I learn from you,

I guess you learn from me--

although you're older--and white--

and somewhat more free.

This is my page for English B.

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