like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
Like a syrupy sweet?Maybe it just sags
Like a heavy load.Or does it explode?
During the 1950s and 1960s, he published countless other works, including several books in his “Simple” series, English translations of the poetry of Federico García Lorca and Gabriela Mistral, another anthology of his own poetry, and the second installment of his autobiography, I Wonder as I Wander.James Mercer Langston Hughes was born on February 1, 1902, in Joplin, Missouri. His parents, James Hughes and Carrie Langston, separated soon after his birth, and his father moved to Mexico. While Hughes’ mother moved around during his youth, Hughes was raised primarily by his maternal grandmother, Mary, until she died in his early teens. From that point, he went to live with his mother, and they moved to several cities before eventually settling in Cleveland, Ohio. It was during this time that Hughes first began to write poetry and that one of his teachers first introduced him to the poetry of Carl Sandburg and Walt Whitman, both whom Hughes would later cite as primary influences. Hughes was also a regular contributor to his school’s literary magazine and frequently submitted to other poetry magazines, although they would ultimately reject him. On May 22, 1967, Langston Hughes died from complications of prostate cancer. A tribute to his poetry, his funeral contained little in the way of spoken eulogy but was filled with jazz and blues music. Hughes’ ashes were interred beneath the entrance of the Arthur Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. The inscription marking the spot features a line from Hughes’ poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers.” It reads: “My soul has grown deep like the rivers.”