Langston Hughes

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Many English poems are difficult to read because they are long and full of extremely old-fashioned words. However, you should give Langston Hughes a try. He is an important American poet and writer, who was born in 1902 in the same area that I was born in. He died in 1967, but his poems are still popular because they are easy to read, powerful, and beautiful. Hughes was African-American and was important in changing the roles of African Americans in American culture and society. You can read more about him at the Simple English Wikipedia article about Langston Hughes.

Here is one of his poems:

by Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

(“Hold fast” means “hold tightly.” “Barren” means “empty, without life.”)

More of his poems are available at (look at the right side).