Night funeral
In Harlem:

Where did they get
Them two fine cars?

Insurance man, he did not pay–
His insurance lapsed the other day–
Yet they got a satin box
for his head to lay.

Night funeral
In Harlem:

Who was it sent
That wreath of flowers?

Them flowers came
from that poor boy’s friends–
They’ll want flowers, too,
When they meet their ends.

Night funeral
in Harlem:

Who preached that
Black boy to his grave?

Old preacher man
Preached that boy away–
Charged Five Dollars
His girl friend had to pay.

Night funeral
In Harlem:

When it was all over
And the lid shut on his head
and the organ had done played
and the last prayers been said
and six pallbearers
Carried him out for dead
And off down Lenox Avenue
That long black hearse done sped,
The street light
At his corner
Shined just like a tear–
That boy that they was mournin’
Was so dear, so dear
To them folks that brought the flowers,
To that girl who paid the preacher man–
It was all their tears that made
That poor boy’s
Funeral grand.

Night funeral
In Harlem.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Langston Hughes's poem Night Funeral In Harlem


  1. kierra says:

    it was the best i loved it it made me feel better

  2. Lauren says:

    I think that Langston Hughes needs a bit more credit for poems like these. I am using it for an essay on the Harlem Renaissance. He painted an incredibly colorful picture of emotions at funerals.
    I’ve recently been through loss, and to find this poem was amazing. I felt so much better to know that someone else felt the way I did when I went through the whole funeral process. Thank you to all those who appreciate this poem and have made it possible to dry the tears of raw emotion.

  3. Crystal Chanice Bridges says:

    GREAT POEM! I’M REALLY INTERESTED IN READING MORE OF LANGSTON HUGHES POETRY AND LEARNING MORE ABOUT Langston Hughes.HE IS REALLY GOOD! Also I write poems so to me his Langston Hughes poems will be inspiring.

  4. Ernelle says:

    I think this poem was excellent, especially coming from an African American that I admire so much.

  5. Byron says:

    this poem sux. but im going to resite it for my speech contest

  6. kristen says:

    this poem was great. although i don’nt concur with the other ideas, they were brilliant too but i thought that this poem kind of marked the ending of the harlem renaissance back in the 1930’s. Hughes was showing the end of the harlem renaissance and the end of its spirit due to the horrid Great Depression. A great read and I am looking forward to reading his other poems.

  7. lopapalapo says:


  8. robert says:

    this poem is positivly one of the best i ever read i give it two thumbs up

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