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


  1. doom says:

    This is a very short and easy to read.

  2. Ciel says:

    I loved this poem ever since i first came across it, loved it to much i didn’t know why…. i guess i just knew deep in myself that one day i’ll be wondering these same thoughts on and on, day and night like i am now…. the answer is yet to come…. maybe when it does i’ll just add it to the poem and publish it again.lol

  3. daines says:

    It is a nice poem. it is a metaphorical kind of a poem which encorages readers to read with open mind.

  4. Ebenezer Baawuah says:

    i love the poem about dream deferred.is fantastic and sensitive

  5. Michael Dressner says:

    I think Bibi hit the nail on the head with it explodes

  6. kenneth melton says:

    I think it is the best poem I have ever read Dream Deferred is one of I read at my school black history and it is a great.

  7. Jamie Taylor says:

    I think that this is my favorite of all of his works. It makes you think and uses great metaphors and similies.

  8. Heather says:

    Yes, This actually is a really great poem although the corect name is ‘Harlem’ Not Dream Deferred.

  9. Ankit Tejpal says:

    according to me, the poem is the product of profound introspection of probabilities or rather anticipations. Langston perhaps is trying to ask, does the long awaited dream dry up and becomes futile or does it keep on bleeding blood and pus like a festering sore whose pain reminds one of the unfulfilled dream. Maybe, it exacerbates and disgusts people like a rotten meat or it ends by superficial sympathy but no result just like the syrup crusts superficially over the sweets. and lastly, maybe it gets tired and frustrated and buries itself like a heavy load or maybe, it results in an explosion which fetches the fruits of that dream.

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