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Thursday, 12 November 2015

Poems Inspired by Langston Hughes

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At my weekly poetry lunch club I recently looked at Langston Hughes' poem 'Daybreak in Alabama' with a group of Year 10 and 11 students. The poem tackles Hughes' experience of racism in the Deep South, and details some of the ways in which he dreams it might be overcome. Using his poem as inspiration, I asked students to think about what they might create were they called upon to be the architects of some kind of new world or state of affairs. What follows is a couple of fantastic poems produced by the students, as well as my own piece which I shared with them.


When I Get To Be an Architect by Eman

When I get to be an architect
I’m going to delete one of the 7 wonders of the world
I’ll create my own
A brick jungle of its own
The tallest most gigantic building of them all
Looking down on inferior copper towers built
On the crushed dreams of the poor
I’ll create my own
Built to give hopes to the young
And the happiness of mum
When I get to be an architect
I’m going to delete one of the 7 wonders of the world
I’ll create my own

Daybreak by Sahana

When I get to be a vampire
I’m going to meet my favourite character
I’m going to take many hearts
Leaving nothing for the world
I’m going to fall in love
Get betrayed
And fall in my grave
I am going to be the darkest
Sinner the world has ever seen
I am going to wish I never changed
As I look back and see
I am going to show the world
What evil really is
When I get to be a vampire
I am going to realise my mistake
I am going to save the world
By sinning my soul.

Daybreak by Joshua Seigal

When I get to be an artist
I’m going to paint a picture
of a family eating
breakfast together.
I’m going to put cereal in it,
and coffee, and toast,
and big wide well-rested smiles.
I’m going to paint speech bubbles
filled with easy conversation,
and I’ll use the finest brush
for those subtle hints of love.
I’m going to paint the sun
knocking lightly on the pane,
and the trees shaking hands
with the morning.
When I get to be an artist
I’m going to rise from the bunk.
I’ll use the brightest colours
to paint over
the night.

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