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?

Analysis, meaning and summary of Langston Hughes's poem Dream Deferred

49 Comments

  1. bria says:

    this poem really touches the heart

  2. chris says:

    I like explosions! I think at the end you should put that it does explode!!!!!!!!! YEEEEAAAAHHHH!

  3. juanita says:

    el lituratura es muy buen. me gusta la definition estrecho.

  4. devin says:

    this is a magnificent poem…really touches the heart, know what i mean? but yeah…email me if there are anymore as awesome as this one

  5. Caroline says:

    this is a very well written poem

  6. Christina G. says:

    I don’t know if we can write rebutals to poems on here or not but I just wanted to ask everyone what they thought. So here it goes:

    *****Alone*****

    What happens to someone left alone?
    Do they try to make it on their own?
    Or do they give up and think its no use?
    Do they dry up like clothes put out on the line?
    Or continue to grow like grapes on a vine?
    Maybe, just maybe, they take the time to see what they can really be.
    Or do they just decide to run forever?

    Be honest people…What do you think? I can handle the truth!

  7. Brighton solomon says:

    this poem is great i loved it. it is an insprational poem for all and this sounds really cheesey so i’ll stop typing right about now.

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  9. katome says:

    what shawn dennis said. if you dont care about a dream whats the point of dreaming them. i think that poem is great and it plays in our everday lives. i know it does in mine.

  10. Cori Thompson says:

    I think the poem was good

  11. Justin says:

    this story was ok..

  12. Evan says:

    that is a great poem. if n/e body has poems or knows of n/e like this one e-mail me it please. and thank you in advance

  13. BLACKQUEEN says:

    AS A POET AND WRITTER I FIND MY MUSE WITHIN LANSTON HUGHES POETRY AND WRITTINGS. I FEEL THE STRUGGLE AND WITNESS THE INDIFFERENCE WITHIN OUR SOCIAL AND POLITICAL STRUCTURE. IT ALLOWS ME TO PLANT MY SEEDS OF WITNESS AND HOPEFULLY IGNITE ANOTHERS FIRE AND SENSE OF RESPONSIBLITY TO MY PEOPLE FIRST, AND SECONDLY TO JOIN ONCE AGAIN A GROUP OF PEOPLE WILLING TO PICK UP THE STRUGGLE AND PROCEED FORWARD UNTIL WE CAN TRUELY CALL THIS OUR COUNTRY

  14. Tina says:

    Great similie and deep feelings!! Though this is an assignment I need tp work on, there’s no pressure. I felt relieved instead. Reading such an inspiring poem gave me strength again. As a big fan of Martin Luther King Jr., I love the indication and the spirit of this”Dream Deffered”.

  15. Shawn Dennis says:

    This poem has played a major part in my life. I’ve used time after time for projects and papers. Its just so real. If we don’t follow our dreams then what is the point of having them?

  16. Mr. B. says:

    I feel that the usage of similies to portray the postponed dreams, goals, and desires of the mass population is brilliant. The usage of the the metaphor in the poem’s climactic moment is just as ingenious of Hughes. The representation of the black population’s frustration, and their imanent explosion is well fitting. These explosions can easily be represented with race riots that so often occured during the times where the Jim Crow Laws were rampid in the United States.

  17. J J says:

    This is a great poem by langston hughes. In just a few lines he was able to convey black opression ( a.k.a the dream) into a metaphor that carried a significant (and sometimes controversial)meaning. Well done.

  18. Kelly Taras says:

    I first read this poem in my Comp. 2 class.As a disabled white woman I felt empathy afterwards.

  19. Henry says:

    Well, I have to memorize this poem in my Writing and Communications class my Senior year, and I am glad I did. This is such a rich and well developed poem, describing various outcomes of a dream deferred, raising in severty each time until ultimatly, the worst outcome arises. This poem originally was intented to convey the angry and fustration of Harlem in the 1910’s to the 1940’s. Still as brillant today as it was 50 years ago, this poem is can be desribed in one word: Timeless.

  20. louise says:

    I wonder if the film A Raisin in the Sun took its title from this brilliant poem?

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