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Langston Hughes and His Jazz Shoes
Langston and Barack, Brothers from Another Mother???
Life and Times
Our Picks!
Literary Theory Analysis
A Tough One
Poetic Social Commentary
Listen to Poems
Patterns and Themes
The Critics
Langston vs. Barack
Works Cited

Similarities between Langston Hughes and Barack Obama



Langston Hughes and our President elect, Barack Obama are two people who resemble each other very closely. With examples as simple as both are black, smokers, and both are writers of both poetry and stories, to those as complex as the things that they fought for in America they are like brothers. Langston talks a lot about equality, the end of segregation, and change in America in his poetry. Barack's campaign was full of concepts of equal universal health care, helping the poor, and especially change in America at a time when things can be very hard. These two men similar in ideas, different in times, both have a main goal of helping shape America for the better.

A Poem by Barack Obama

Sitting in his seat, a seat broad and broken

In, sprinkled with ashes,

Pop switches channels, takes another

Shot of Seagrams, neat, and asks

What to do with me, a green young man

Who fails to consider the

Flim and flam of the world, since

Things have been easy for me;

I stare hard at his face, a stare

That deflects off his brow;

I'm sure he's unaware of his

Dark, watery eyes, that

Glance in different directions,

And his slow, unwelcome twitches,

Fail to pass.

I listen, nod,

Listen, open, till I cling to his pale,

Beige T-shirt, yelling,

Yelling in his ears, that hang

With heavy lobes, but he's still telling

His joke, so I ask why

He's so unhappy, to which he replies . . .

But I don't care anymore, cause

He took too damn long, and from

Under my seat, I pull out the

Mirror I've been saving; I'm laughing,

Laughing loud, the blood rushing from

his face

To mine, as he grows small,

A spot in my brain, something

That may be squeezed out, like a

Watermelon seed between

Two fingers.

Pop takes another shot, neat,

Points out the same amber

Stain on his shorts that I've got on mine,


Makes me smell his smell, coming

From me; he switches channels, recites

an old poem

He wrote before his mother died,

Stands, shouts, and asks

For a hug, as I shink*, my

Arms barely reaching around

His thick, oily neck, and his broad back;


I see my face, framed within

Pop's black-framed glasses

And know he's laughing too. *
("Shink" may be a typo, but the poem is reproduced as published.)


Under water grottos, caverns

Filled with apes

That eat figs.

Stepping on the figs

That the apes

Eat, they crunch.

The apes howl, bare

Their fangs, dance,

Tumble in the

Rushing water,

Musty, wet pelts

Glistening in the blue.