THE POEM Democracy will not come Today, this year Nor ever Through compromise and fear. I have as much right As the other fellow has To stand On my two feet And own the land. I tire so of hearing people say, Let things take their course. Tomorrow is another day.I do not need my freedom when Im dead. I cannot live on tomorrows bread. Freedom Is a strong seed Planted In a great need. I live here, too. I want freedom Just as you.
JAMES LANGSTON HUGHES (February 1, 1902 – May 22, 1967
Born in Joplin, Missouri His great-great-grandparent’s brother was the first Black American to be elected to public office. He is the member of abolitionist family, where he fight for his skin colour. Langston Hughes died of cancer on May 22, 1967. His father wants him to become a lawyer but he refused. He had works many part time job before discovered by poet Vachet Lindsay. His most famous poem is ‘The Negro Speaks of Rivers.
• The first stanza – This stanza shows the poet true feelings. He tired of being compromise all the time yearning for democracy to come. He assumes maybe his people need to change their strategy to be heard by the authority.• The second stanza – He shows and asks for his right as American citizen to be the same as the white people. He also wants to walk around his own land without feeling no fear.
• The third stanza – This stanza shows his character which is so eager to fight for his right and he does not want to wait and tired of hearing ‘Let things take their course, Tomorrow is another day’.• The fourth stanza –‘planted by great need’ means that everyone want freedom in their life and everyone deserve it.• The fifth stanza – Emphasizes what the poet want as a American citizen by saying it again
• Democracy He asks for his right and freedom as an American regardless his colour. He wants equal treat in his own country.• Racial How the black is isolated by the dominant white people. The society assumes black as the second class people.
Serious - Since democracy is a serious topic to discuss, he uses serious tone to deliver it in his poem. He seriously emphasizes his point of wanting a democracy and wants the reader to get the message sharply and clearly.
First stanza- ABBB Second stanza- ABCDC Third stanza- ABACC Fourth stanza- ABBB Fifth stanza- ABA- Hence, the poem is free verse where the rhymes are not consistent.
LITERARY DEVICES Rhyming couplets: Today, this year Nor Ever Through comprise and fear To stand On my two feet And own the land Metaphor: - I cannot live on tomorrow’s bread he means he cannot live on unsure, tomorrow promises - Freedom is a strong seed The poet compare freedom with a seed