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My soul has grown deep like the rivers - Langston Hughes

“I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset.”

The Negro Speaks of Rivers by Langston Hughes was first published n the June 1921 issue of The Crisis, the magazine of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The poem is found in The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Copyright © 1994 the Estate of Langston Hughes.


Poem: The Negro Speaks of Rivers

I’ve known rivers:

I’ve known rivers ancient

as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins.


My soul has grown deep like the rivers.


I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.


I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.


I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.


I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset.


I’ve known rivers:

Ancient, dusky rivers.


My soul has grown deep like the rivers.


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