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


  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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding the meaning or the theme of this poem by Langston Hughes better? If accepted, your analysis will be added to this page of American Poems. Together we can build a wealth of information, but it will take some discipline and determination.