About the Poet:

James Mercer Langston Hughes (1902- 1967) frequently known as Langston Hughes to be an American poet, society activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist. He to be born inJoplin, Missouri. He was of African-American origin, his mother, Caroline Mercer Langston, to be a school teacher and also his father, James Nathaniel Hughes. He to be a pioneer that the, climate literary art form new jazz poetry. However, most importantly that is ideal known as the leader of Harlem Renaissance. Hughes came to be increasingly affiliated in radical politics and also joined the American Communist Party due to the fact that of its insurance claim to stand for all races equally in that working-class solidarity. He died in new York City in ~ the period of 65 while experiencing from prostate cancer.

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AboutMother come Son:The poem mom to boy by Langston Hughes was written in 1922. It was very first published in the magazine dilemm in December of 1922 and also reappeared in Langston Hughes’s an initial collection the poetry, The Weary Blues in 1926.Mother to son is a poem where the speaker is a mom who explains her hardships to her boy by comparing she life to stairs. This city is a monologue, a speech talked by one human to one more without interruption. The monologue is created in such a means as to imply the natural speech the a woman that doesn’t pay lot attention come formal grammar, however who can nevertheless to speak what she means.

The setup ofMother to Son:The city “Mother come Son”, through Langston Hughes, is an uplifting, positive poem around never providing up. The main symbolism in the city is when mom compares her life come a staircase. She says, “Life for me ain’t to be no decision stair.” through this, she method that life has not been easy, and her journey with life has actually been like climbing a staircase. Together a black woman, she journey has been hard, and also as she describes it, the staircase she has had to climb has actually “tacks in it”, “splinters”, “boards tore up”, “places through no carpet”, and is “bare”. It has actually not to be a smooth and also easy trip of life; the sort of life that a decision staircase would certainly provide. Instead, the Mother has actually led a life complete of obstacles and hardships in her metaphoric climb up the stair from birth to death.She is hopeful for her son, and also she urges him to keep climbing prefer she has.The mother says come her kid that life has actually not to be a “crystal stair” – it has had actually tacks and splinters and also torn plank on it, as well as places without carpet. The stair is bare. However, she tho climbs on, getting to landings, turning corners, and persevering in the dark as soon as there is no light. She commands him, “So boy, nothing you revolve back.” She instructs him no to go ago down the stairs even if he thinks climbing is hard. That should try not come fall due to the fact that his mommy is still going, still climb, and also her life “ain’t to be no decision stair.”


Autobiographical Overtone ofMother to Son:

Langston’s parentage was of mixed race. His mom belonged come the influential, elite and politically active Langston family. She married James Nathaniel Hughes. However, Hughes’s father left them and later divorced his mommy fleeing come Cuba to stop the climb racism in the unified States. Hughes’s was increased in a variety of Midwestern small towns before his dad left. Afterwards, that was mainly raised by his mater grandmother. And he was very influenced by the oral African society and other African- American music which he thrived up listening from his grandmother.Since his parents got separated really soon ~ his birth. He saw the hardships his mother has to challenge in life in order come survive, which eventually separated them. He is well aware of the obstacles one has to challenge in life. Together his, own life was not smooth we view the very same things echoing in this poetry with the an allegory of stairs. The mother voice in the poem is voicing both his and his mom hardships.Hughes was just start his career as a poet once he wrote this poem, so concerns of what come write around and how finest to forge his poetic voice and also identity would be pressing problems for him. Would certainly he strive to represent his gyeongju in poetry, and also be a self-consciously black poet, or would he disapprove a gyeongju poetic identity, together poets favor Countee Cullen would try to do? would certainly he look to his African-American social heritage for inspiration, or was the black American experience, and also its legacy of artistic expression, somehow external the conventional borders of poetry? this were an overwhelming questions for the young writer, and if we read“Mother come Son“in regards to these concerns, we watch the poet struggling to come to terms v them. In this context, the “son” the the location becomes no the reader, however the poet himself, and the poem suggests that the son’s frustration and also despair space that that the poet, challenged with the difficult task of composing poetry that truly speaks to and for the African-American experience. The poet–the “son” the African- American history and its creative legacy the spirituals, blues, and jazz–looks to his “mother” for advice and also the toughness to store going. Her response is stern, however supportive: “So boy, don’t you rotate back. / Don’t girlfriend sit under on the measures / ‘Cause you discover it kinder hard.” The job he has before him is one arduous one, she says, yet it is crucial and necessary one. African-American culture and background keep moving and also it is his job as the poet to document it; she’s “still climbin"” and he has to keep step.His goal was to write a truly “Negro” poetry without perpetuating racial stereotypes. However, the poet’s “mother,” who speaks in the voice of the African- American teaches him he require not abandon that legacy in stimulate to compose poetry. Every poetry, she says, need not be about “crystal stairs.” It can have “tacks” and also “splinters” in it, “and places with no carpet on the floor.” It need not conform to white conventions in either form or subject — it have the right to be “bare”–yet it require not disregard those conventions if they deserve to be of use (In fact, the line, “And life for me ain’t to be no decision stair” is written in iambic pentameter, the most classic of English poetic meters). The poet discovers, native listening to his mother-muse, a way to bring the African-American experience into poetry. He finds a means to move forward, to store climbing.

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In one more famous Hughes poem, entitled “The negro Mother,” we find a similar speaker in a comparable dramatic situation. . . .In “The negro Mother,” i beg your pardon was composed some year after”Mother to Son,” the speaker also tells her children about the “dark” and an overwhelming “climb” she has challenged in she life and suggests that her battles will do those of her kids easier to bear. Yet in the later poem, Hughes provides explicit the connection in between the speaker and larger issues of African- American culture, together the figure of “The negro Mother” comes to be viewed not merely as one old woman talking to she children, yet as, in some sense, thevoice that African-American history itself, recounting that is arduous battle “that the race could live and grow.” In the same way,we have the right to see the speak of “Mother come Son” together representing a sort of cumulative voice, the voice of the generations of African-Americans whose troubled history–from the slave-ships, to the plantations, come Reconstruction, to the an excellent Migration to the urban North–“ain’t to be no decision stair.”In the photo of ‘stairs,’ us hear one echo the theBiblical story the Jacob’s Ladder(Genesis, chapter 28, verses 10-22), in which Jacob watch in a dream a vision the a celestial stairway upon which angels climb and also descend in between earth and heaven. In the dream, God speak Jacob, “This floor on i beg your pardon you are lying ns will give to you and also your progeny they will certainly be as plenty of as the dust of the earth.” the land would end up being Israel and Jacob’s sons, the Israelites. This story organized an abiding significance within the African-American Christian tradition–especially in the pre- Civil-War slave-holding South–as it speak to a confidence that, choose the Israelites, black color Americans also would be delivered to a “Promised Land.”The heavenly stairway came to be a powerful image the liberation and salvation, attainable only through suffering and also faith in God. Hughes, along with most African-Americans that his time, would have actually been very familiar with the associations of Jacob’s Ladder v the battle for freedom and equality that blacks in America, particularly in the expression in one of the best-known traditional spirituals, “We space Climbing Jacob’s Ladder.” This song, i m sorry would have actually been sung very first in the fields and also later in churches, entails a call-and-response between a singer and a chorus not unlike the relationship of Hughes’s mother and also son. It speaks of climb “higher and higher” to become “soldiers of the Lord,” has the exhortation “Keep on climbing, we will make it,” and ends with the question, “Children do you want your freedom?”In this light, it becomes easy to watch Hughes’s mother figure as something favor a gyeongju matriarch addressing she scattered children and exhorting them to “keep on climbing” on their method to freedom. It additionally shows us just how Hughes supplies a solitary image, the “crystal stair,” come evoke simultaneously the painful background of blacks in America when pointing to the tradition of faith and also hope that has actually sustained them v it all.