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Analysis and comments on Dream Deferred by Langston Hughes

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Comment 23 of 83, added on May 27th, 2005 at 6:34 PM.

The word "explodes" is very powerful... I wonder what Hughes meant. On the
most personal intimate level, the explosion of the mind, the torment of the
individual soul, the burst of beautiful creativity arising from frustrated
dreams... Or are we, today, seeing rotten decay of the social structure,
the shrivelled souls of honest, hardworking, people working toward an end
that seems to promise futility, or does it explode by the burst of energy
that promises only wonderful and beautiful outcomes from all the surpressed
longings? Such a beautiful poem, this is, that even I, a non-black
immigrant, can appreciate its intimate largess.

Comment 22 of 83, added on May 2nd, 2005 at 4:48 PM.

I first read this poem while a freshman in college at Grambling State
University. It was during the LA riots and I always thought Langton
expressed the actions after the Rodney King verdict better than any
newscast or debate. Ultimately, a dream deferred will explode.

KWENITA LEWIS from United States
Comment 21 of 83, added on April 26th, 2005 at 9:32 PM.

Langston uses rhetorical questions and similes to show that if we do not
realize our dreams doubt will comsume us and a sprial of despair will

dan from United States
Comment 20 of 83, added on April 25th, 2005 at 2:43 PM.

It is very good and shows a lot of meaning

Billy from United Kingdom
Comment 19 of 83, added on April 18th, 2005 at 6:27 PM.

Langston Hughes' poem Dream Deferred is one which I have chosen to use in
my 7th grade English classes as part of a unit of poetry. I enjoy showing
students different types of poems, as well as poems of different moods.
Dream Deferred is one which I hope will inspire some of my students to
attempt goals instead of abandoning them. I asked them the question today
in class, "Which is worse? To try and fail, or to never try at all?"
Unfortunately, many students said that to try and then fail was more
upsetting to them than to never have tried at all. Oh, how I wish they
would not defer their dreams!

Malinda Butler from United States
Comment 18 of 83, added on April 12th, 2005 at 1:23 AM.

I think that this poem just goes to show the absolute genius of Langston
Hughes as a poet. A poet of the caliber of Hughes can write a poem that can
have a myriad of meanings and have one meaning at the same time. This poem
is like that. I think this poem speaks of the effects that unrealized
dreams have on individuals. For some, those dreams just linger at the
inmost parts of who we are. For a few others, those dreams explode and take
on whole new meanings and they morph into something more powerful and

Gabe from United States
Comment 17 of 83, added on March 28th, 2005 at 8:37 PM.

probably the most popular work of Mr. Hughes

Robert from Philippines
Comment 16 of 83, added on March 23rd, 2005 at 10:29 PM.

What really does happen to a dream deferred? I think it becomes a fantasy,
as the longer you put it off, the longer it takes to realize. Follow your
dreams..they are the guideposts of your earthy mission!!

Tanya from United States
Comment 15 of 83, added on March 13th, 2005 at 1:49 PM.

You all have a great view on this poem, however, since I love it so much I
feel the need to correct you. The true title of the poem is "Harlem."
Although it is a common mistake to call it, "A Dream Deferred," as it is
from the extended poem made up of many small poems called, "Montage of a
Dream Deferred." However, he wanted this actual short poem to be called,
"Harlem." Many people make this mistake.

Comment 14 of 83, added on March 6th, 2005 at 9:18 PM.

this is a very nice poem, I'm a college student and I took africian
american history at ddc. my instructor said this was one of his favorite
poems and I certainly agree. It's a strong poem and it's a poem that makes
you think.

nakia from United States

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Information about Dream Deferred

Poet: Langston Hughes
Poem: Dream Deferred
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 2437 times
Poem of the Day: Sep 3 2013

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