After being sent away to boarding school at the age of ten, he attended a lecture on science which piqued his interest in the properties of electricity, magnetism, chemistry and telescopes. He also hinted of a mysterious "alchemist" living in a hidden room in the attic. While attending the Eton school from tothe quiet, odd and reflective boy was taunted relentlessly by schoolmates.
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University Langston Hughes was first recognized as an important literary figure during the s, a period known as the "Harlem Renaissance" because of the number of emerging black writers.
It is, however, as an individual poet, not as a member of a new and interesting literary group, or as a spokesman for a race that Langston Hughes must stand or fall. In his autobiographical The Big Sea, Hughes commented: The Negro critics and many of the intellectuals were very sensitive about Poets are born not made race in books.
In anything that white people were likely to read, they wanted to put their best foot forward, their politely polished and cultural foot—and only that foot. Bad enough to have white authors holding up our imperfections to public gaze.
Our aim ought to be [to] present to the general public, already misinformed both by well meaning and malicious writers, our higher aims and aspirations, and our better selves.
But I did not see how they could expect every Negro author to write such books. Certainly, I personally knew very few people anywhere who were wholly beautiful and wholly good.
But they seemed to me good people, too. Fuller commented that Hughes "chose to identify with plain black people—not because it required less effort and sophistication, but precisely because he saw more truth and profound significance in doing so.
Perhaps in this he was inversely influenced by his father—who, frustrated by being the object of scorn in his native land, rejected his own people. The elder Hughes came to feel a deep dislike and revulsion for other American blacks. Serious white critics ignored him, less serious ones compared his poetry to Cassius Clay doggerel, and most black critics only grudgingly admired him.
Some, like James Baldwin, were downright malicious about his poetic achievement. He had the wit and intelligence to explore the black human condition in a variety of depths, but his tastes and selectivity were not always accurate, and pressures to survive as a black writer in a white society and it was a miracle that he did for so long extracted an enormous creative toll.
Although Hughes had trouble with both black and white critics, he was the first black American to earn his living solely from his writing and public lectures. Part of the reason he was able to do this was the phenomenal acceptance and love he received from average black people.
A reviewer for Black World noted in Before he was twelve years old he had lived in six different American cities. When his first book was published, he had already been a truck farmer, cook, waiter, college graduate, sailor, and doorman at a nightclub in Paris, and had visited Mexico, West Africa, the Azores, the Canary Islands, Holland, France, and Italy.
As David Littlejohn observed in his Black on White: There [was] no noticeable sham in it, no pretension, no self-deceit; but a great, great deal of delight and smiling irresistible wit.
He seems to speak for millions, which is a tricky thing to do. Semple shortened to Simple. Simple is a poor man who lives in Harlem, a kind of comic no-good, a stereotype Hughes turned to advantage.
He tells his stories to Boyd, the foil in the stories who is a writer much like Hughes, in return for a drink. His tales of his troubles with work, women, money, and life in general often reveal, through their very simplicity, the problems of being a poor black man in a racist society.
According to a reviewer for Kirkus Reviews, their original intent was "to convince black Americans to support the U. Dickinson wrote in his Bio-Bibliography of Langston Hughes that the "charm of Simple lies in his uninhibited pursuit of those two universal goals, understanding and security.
As with most other humans, he usually fails to achieve either of these goals and sometimes once achieved they disappoint him. Simple is a well-developed character, both believable and lovable.
The situations he meets and discusses are so true to life everyone may enter the fun. This does not mean that Simple is in any way dull. He injects the ordinary with his own special insights.
Simple is a natural, unsophisticated man who never abandons his hope in tomorrow. Simple lived in a world they knew, suffered their pangs, experienced their joys, reasoned in their way, talked their talk, dreamed their dreams, laughed their laughs, voiced their fears—and all the while underneath, he affirmed the wisdom which anchored at the base of their lives.
Simple knows who he is and what he is, and he knows that the status of expatriate offers no solution, no balm. The struggle is here, and it can only be won here, and no constructive end is served through fantasies and illusions and false efforts at disguising a basic sense of inadequacy.
Simple also knows that the strength, the tenacity, the commitment which are necessary to win the struggle also exist within the Black community. Fuller believed that, like Simple, "the key to Langston Hughes. Profound because it was both willed and ineffable, because some intuitive sense even at the beginning of his adulthood taught him that humanity was of the essence and that it existed undiminished in all shapes, sizes, colors and conditions.
Violations of that humanity offended his unshakable conviction that mankind is possessed of the divinity of God. Unlike younger and more militant writers, Hughes never lost his conviction that "most people are generally good, in every race and in every country where I have been.
And if he has none, why not?Langston Hughes was first recognized as an important literary figure during the s, a period known as the. A Poet Is Born, Not Made Poeta nascitur non fit.
Not everyone can hear the words Bringing forth the beauty in life and meaning Giving value to substance Each story a new beginning, a new ending.
A poet, like any other artist, is made, not born.
Most people come into the world with the potential of seeing with a poet's eyes, of responding with a poet's heart. But life and training take their toll, and before children have been among us for very long, they have been packed into more prosaic molds.
Sylvia Plath, learn more about this poet's life. Poets Are Born And Not Made by Francis Duggan.. Poets are born and not made And never into oblivion to fade Long after the breath of life from them has gone The poems they have written are destined.5/5.
Graves also offered a "general rule" of his own, that "poets are born, not made. And if you're not born a poet, 10, creative writing courses won't turn you into one".