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Analysis and comments on The Weary Blues by Langston Hughes

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Comment 15 of 125, added on May 1st, 2006 at 10:54 PM.

The rhythm and rhyme patterns in the single stanza poem, The Weary Blues,
are constantly changing, like a jazz or blues song, giving you the sense of
listening to music. One listens from the view of a weary black man
listening to another weary black man singing in a club. The melancholy
vernacular and the rundown image of the piano gives the poem a slow,
dreary, beaten tone.
The piano represents two themes; the first, racial incongruence and the
next, hope. The piano, with its ivory keys, moans as if in protest of the
ebony fingers that play it, belonging to a man, who although tires of
fighting, still tries.
The moan, when paired with the line “and I wish that I had died”
contradicts what the poem seems to say on the surface. We know that people
sing the blues so they don’t get the blues, and no one in their right mind
wants to die, neither does the singer, because he went to the club and sang
about his sorrows to lift his sorrows. The moaning piano, despite its
weariness, still played its sad song. The poem is about life, perseverance
and hope.

the from United States
Comment 14 of 125, added on April 3rd, 2006 at 6:59 AM.

beautiful and sad

touk from United States
Comment 13 of 125, added on March 27th, 2006 at 12:13 PM.

main themes: Racial discrimination,alienation
tone:touching sadness
Hughes not only expresses himself but he represents all blacks in his poem.
He is talking about people's suffering and pain under oppression. Racial
discrimination was still apparent at that time" Coming from a black man's
soul." the word black is significant. "He played that sad raggy tune like a
musical fool….Sweet Blues!" The musician stands for the blacks who create
out of their dilemma beautiful art. The tone of sadness overwhelms .The
listener of the music stands for readers. As if Hughes wanted us (white
people) to feel for the blacks in their alienation and sadness. A question
that is not answered for me at least is why he quoted this blue song
particularly. I don't think it is a mere example. What does it connote "I
ain't happy no mo'… And I wish that I had died." It is not logic that he
did not mean it. is it to convey his sadness only or to add that if he
don't have his freedom it is better to die.
yet at last it is a wonderful poem that portrays black people agonies and
hardships.It is 95% African Americanan 2% blues 3% hughes.so if u didnot
like it read it again and if u did keep it in ur mind and soul.

Sankora from United States
Comment 12 of 125, added on March 26th, 2006 at 9:27 PM.

tone - sad and depressed
Hughes suggests that blues offer a certain kind of experience for both the
reader and the listener...they both benefit...uses imagery to paint a
picture...uses personification and onomotopoeia...asserts his isolationism
in line 20 "Ain't got nobody but ma self"...relationship between the
speaker and the audience mirrors the effect of the music itself for the
performer and the audience

Comment 11 of 125, added on March 12th, 2006 at 5:46 PM.

Be careful of interpreting this poem too narrowly. Yes, I think it's about
race and inequality, to a degree; and it's also a personal poem, about one
bluesman, and a personal poem about black people, about a form of
expression and beauty that arose from black culture and that many see as
being inextricably linked to the American black experience. But remember,
the old bluesman is a performer. His song isn't just for him, its for his
audience, and however weary his blues may be he's still playing them on
Lenox Avenue, coaxing a song out of the reluctant piano...It is not a
dying, defeatist moan, because the ultimate defeat would be not to play.
It is not a flat and pointless polemic against his life and the conditions
that brought him to it, racial or otherwise, because he is taking that
experience and reshaping it into his own creation, with skill and irony and
humor--"I's gwine take my troubles and put them on the shelf." No one can
ever say "I wish I was dead" and mean it. The statement is inherently
contradictory, implicitly ironic. The bluesman's voice in the poem, and
perhaps Hughes' as well, should be taken in the same sense.

Ariane from United States
Comment 10 of 125, added on February 11th, 2006 at 4:04 PM.

This poem is very good.

Erica Ivy from United States
Comment 9 of 125, added on December 6th, 2005 at 5:15 PM.

hi English Major here.... this is from the book I'm currently reading in my
poetry class:

"The Weary Blues boldy celebrates the everyday lives of ordinary black folk
in a vernacular poetics based in the kind of blues lyricism, black sermon,
spirituals, and other expressive forms that are rooted in African American
So before you guys act like you know what your talking about... go to
school... learn something...
Langston Hughes was only inspired by jazz and blues, he's not saying he's
just weary.. is the representative of his race back in the 1920's! C'mon
now... geez.. sorry this is directed towards the people saying he's a
weary, tired man.

Valerie from United States
Comment 8 of 125, added on September 11th, 2005 at 7:23 AM.

how people come to interprete this as "this is not a poem about equality,
but about an old blues singer" So racism and inequality has always
existed(everywhere!!!) Don`t tell me that poor people anyway..and all
blacks are completely equal in the US.
Langston Hughes always speaks for justice and equality.

rainbow from Belgium
Comment 7 of 125, added on June 19th, 2005 at 10:14 PM.

I thought that this was a great poem. This poem is not about equality, it
is in fact about the inequality amongst the races at this time. His very
loose usage of the N word shows how he feels the white people viewed him
and his race. The blues were weary because the man singing the tune was so
tired of having to work for the white man and get nothing back in return.
And this being all that he can think about "He slept like a rock or a man
that's dead"

Nina June from United States
Comment 6 of 125, added on June 6th, 2005 at 2:23 AM.

This poem was decently depressing and reminded me of those angsty teenagers
that I see all too often in the forums of the internet. “I ain't happy no
mo' and I wish that I had died.” Yes, you know it’s the blues when someone
can suggest suicide and yet somehow still appeal to audiences. From other
parts of the poem that I managed to glance at (before wishing I had slammed
my face down on the barbeque grill), there is just a hint of race in the
topic. Well, he identifies the performer in the poem as “Negro”, anyway.
Apart from that, though, the message that Langston is obviously trying to
convey is “‘da Blues” and whatever strange effect it happens to have upon a
musician and the audience.
This doesn’t really help in making his poem more appealing, though, as I’ve
seen more attractive things in my lunch tray. The poem was slow and
ultimately monotonous. To read each line was about as tedious as trying to
count how much hair I have on my head.In conclusion, Langston’s poem, The
Weary Blues contained 99% Blues and 1% about African Americans. As it is in
a Blues format, it was slow, boring, and greatly depressing. I would have
been more content writing a poem myself than reading something so

Herr Doctor from Germany

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Information about The Weary Blues

Poet: Langston Hughes
Poem: The Weary Blues
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 53830 times
Poem of the Day: Dec 5 2009

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