I went down to the river,
I set down on the bank.
I tried to think but couldn’t,
So I jumped in and sank.

I came up once and hollered!
I came up twice and cried!
If that water hadn’t a-been so cold
I might’ve sunk and died.

But it was Cold in that water! It was cold!

I took the elevator
Sixteen floors above the ground.
I thought about my baby
And thought I would jump down.

I stood there and I hollered!
I stood there and I cried!
If it hadn’t a-been so high
I might’ve jumped and died.

But it was High up there! It was high!

So since I’m still here livin’,
I guess I will live on.
I could’ve died for love–
But for livin’ I was born

Though you may hear me holler,
And you may see me cry–
I’ll be dogged, sweet baby,
If you gonna see me die.

Life is fine! Fine as wine! Life is fine!

Analysis, meaning and summary of Langston Hughes's poem Life Is Fine

47 Comments

  1. bonke says:

    yaa it is true when it says life is fine only if you think it is. actualy i think dis poem teaches us dat in life you face so many challenges and some are even difficult to solve so we should assume life as fine and hollar when things become difficult….thank you i love it.

  2. Scotty McGregor says:

    Dude is he Drunk?

  3. bob says:

    yes life is as fine as wine. is he a drinker. god nows. is the poam great. god knows. am i wearing a bear hat. god nows.

  4. Chris says:

    yeah, real nice poem.. very thoughtful. In case you didn’t no, its about a man who lost his lover and is trying to commit suicide over it, but he cant bring himself to actually do it, because he realises that his life problems AREN’t as bad as dying.

  5. Sophia Chen says:

    I like this poem. It tells people to never give up even when life is very difficult.

  6. Dork says:

    This poem is great! Its about the hardships of life and although there is many hardships in life they are not as bad as dying and when the author says “For livin I was born” you can see that he will live through the hardships
    And about the last sentence “Fine as Wine” it was just a simile that compares life to a delicacy not saying hes an alcoholic

  7. Rick Ross The Boss says:

    Man, stop being immature about the Life is Fine! Fine as Wine! Plus how is he going to be an alcoholic if its wine. Jesus and his disciples drunk wine. They weren’t alcoholics. So get over it.

  8. ralfhy says:

    life is fine, fine as wine..? is this guy an alchaholic or something? why even try to put in something like that. thanks now i have to write about you in school athough your poem is great.

  9. bob says:

    does anyone know the setting of this poem?

  10. Allison says:

    Does anyone else feel the ending (Life is fine! Fine as wine! Life is fine!) is kind of bittersweet or sarcastic? Even though in the previous lines he seems positive about life and getting over his lost love, to me the ending reminds me of people who just get so fed up with life that they just throw their hands up and laugh and go on to neglect themselves emotionally. I imagine the narrator of the poem having a haphazard lifestyle following the end of his tale here…

  11. lagnston.h.suck.ass says:

    so i have to write a 3-4 page essay on this retarted peom that means nothing!
    i mean, wtf???????? this poem is so ghetto! screw it, and screw everyone who likes it!

  12. Christina says:

    I think that this poem is wonderful. I had to pick a poem for my English class and this was the first one that stood out, I also wrote a paper on it…It just shows what life can mean to some people and even though you want to give it all up sometimes there are things worth living for.

  13. Chris says:

    I’m doing a research on this poem. But I couldn’t find when this poem was wrote. Could anyone help me ? Thanks a lot ! ^@^

  14. LaSalle says:

    I have to anaylize this poem Life is Fine and I just wanted to say that I really enjoy it and like it. I have to teach it to my class and I hope that they fully understand it! Thanks Langston Hughes for making a difference!

  15. evelyn samonte says:

    by this time am searching the american poem..when i read this poem,i really like the words content in this poem,so i choose it..and make it analyses for my brother assignment or homework…this poem indicates that even how many trials come in our life,we have to be strong and believe that there is a chance..so LIFE IS FINE…

  16. Asia Chapman says:

    This was the best Poem I have ever read.When I first read this poem it made me think of myself!

  17. Gentry Pitts says:

    this poem lets you know that you’ve gotta keep going in life and there will be road blocks but they weren’t ment to kill you but make you stronger and prepare you for life!

  18. Marilyn says:

    I think this is a beautiful poem, it gives an important message to the people.

  19. Kelsey says:

    I think this is a awsome poem because it lets you know that you shouldn’t kill your self over love.

  20. Amanda says:

    I think that the peom that you wrote was very good and that you probley put alote of thought into ”Life is Fine”. I am doing a leason on it in class for languge arts but doing yours make it alte of fun. I think your a greeat AUTHER KEEP IT UP .

    Sincerly Amnad

  21. fonzo22 says:

    i have to do a project on this song using windows movie maker. The feedback people have given rlly has halped me alot. I would like to thank everyone who posted comments and to langston hughes for making such a gr8 poem. LIFE IS FINE.

  22. motu says:

    this poem means that life is so precious that you shouldn’t give up so easly.Even if it is sometimes too unbearable to bear you must never give up too easily. You got to fight for what you will have only once that is your life…Life is fine

  23. Lorraine says:

    i understood it…it makes me open my eyes a little more.
    Thank you Langston Hughes

  24. Lorraine says:

    i understood it…it makes me open my eyes alittle more.
    thank you Langston Hughes!

  25. Emily says:

    This poem is about how he wanted to die right. Well its a very nice poem and makes perfect sence.

  26. Tiffany says:

    Wonderful Poem! It’s just too bad I’m not able to get a hold of Langston so he can tell me everything that he meant by it. It’s all our own interpretations now, which i’m sure are pretty close.

  27. Keith says:

    The poem provides a small sense of ambiguity in the italic words. Almost like he’s saying, even though he backed out, the situation was tense, and the feats required either courage or stupidity.
    This poem really can communicate with alot of people out there, considering the fact that suicide and depression are becoming more common.

  28. unknown says:

    this poenm really speaks to me because i once thought about suicide

  29. lorelle says:

    i like it.. 🙂

  30. kari says:

    I thought this poem was F-A-B-U !!!! Thank you.

  31. Nan says:

    “I could’ve died for love–But for livin’ I was bornThough you may hear me holler,And you may see me cry–I’ll be dogged, sweet baby,If you gonna see me die”
    Ahh.. lost love, love betrayed, love ignored, the pain of love and yet, finally, the triumph of the singular: No way in hell will I die because you don’t or won’t love me. Free at last.

  32. kelby says:

    its a nice peom but i dont get it

  33. ELMO FROM CRAZY 238 says:

    OH MY THIS POEM HAS MY NAME WROTE ALL OVER IT THIS POEM WAS MADE JUST 4 ME. JUST HOW THIS POEM IS IS THE WAY THAT I FEEL I WANT GIVE IN ON NUTHING I WILL KEEP ME HEAD UP HIGH. R.I.P LANGSTON HUGHES

  34. victorious says:

    YES!YES!YES! THIS POEM REALLY SPEAKS 2 ME. IT MADE ME GIVE A LITTLE SMILE B/C THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE DAT WOULD RATHER SEE ME DIE THAN 2 SEE ME FLY BUT I SURE AS HELL AINT GIVING UP!! I TRULY B-LIEVE IN WAT MR. HUGHES IS SAYIN. HE INSPIRES NE 2 REACH MY HIGHEST POTENTIAL & I KNOW DAT I WILL MAKE U JUST WATCH & SEE. P.S HEY ANGIE KEEP UR HEAD UP & IM PRAYIN 4 YA!!!
    -EVERYBODY SUPPORT OUR TROOPS!!!! 1LUV&STAY SHARP!!

  35. NC mystery poet says:

    This poem is a great resource for some of the many poem i have completed one of my favorites is posted on poetry.com just type my name in the find author section. Michael James Sponholz. Hope you enjoy!;)

  36. JOSE RIZAL says:

    Thanks for this poem because something dat i feel to my heart just say i’m touch so so much,,,, And i will report this to my class presentation!!! To all of American Girls in there chat with me pls. here’s my e-mail!!!!(-; thanks again so much “YAWHEH”

  37. AgeAintNothingButANumber says:

    Cool poem cuz everybody goes thro hard timez but u even tho u have a bad day u still just cant gave up

  38. Nicole says:

    This poem is so wonderful because it is saying that no matter what you shouldnt give up because you will be giving in.

  39. mikiyta says:

    it was a great poem, but im having trouble analyzing it.

  40. Paterse says:

    I love this Poem i think it speaks to my soul.this poem speaks volume to everyone who will recive it .I am trying to be a poet ,so i always read this poem to speak to me when im haveing writer block

  41. amber says:

    this poem is very meaningful to me! i really do like this poem! it really makes you think!

  42. JUDY says:

    ALTHOUGH I NEVER THOUGH ABOUT HARMING MYSELF I FEEL VERY CLOSE TO THIS POEM… LIFE IS HARD WITH LOTS OF UP’S AND DOWN’S, BUT I WILL NEVER GIVE UP NOR WILL I GUIT LIFE IS A GIFT EVERYDAY I’M ABLE TO AWAKEN.. AMEN TO GOD!
    !!!!!

  43. Miami's Finest says:

    Life is all about scarifice and fighting and with this poem being published it basically explains the hardship of life and it is excellent for all ages.

  44. chelsea says:

    Its so true> Keep ur chin up through thick and thin and dont give up whatever happens…your bond to rise back up

  45. breanna says:

    this poem was great. when i read this peom in class everyone got quite and then in call the whole hour we sat there talking about it.its such a great poem and it realates to me!!!

  46. rachel says:

    well i love this poem because it is so deep it relates on a lot of levels.Don’t ever quite.its real deep. lol

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