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K.M. Dousa | 19 M CA

about: resting in pizzaronis and panacea. . "The laws of the universe are not indifferent, but are forever on the side of the most sensitive. Listen to every zephyr for some reproof, for it is surely there, and he is unfortunate who does not hear it."

The Negro Speaks of Rivers read by the author, Langston Hughes

I’ve known rivers:

I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow

of human blood through 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. 

This beautiful poem written with the Whitman “I” perspective is used by Hughes to personify the history of African slaves. The metaphor of the rivers explains the value in African culture. For rivers are the source of civilization, and they have given life to the peoples of history. “My soul has grown deep like the rivers,” indicates that the African people, like the rivers, have given rise to civilization and built and given life itself to civilizations throughout all of history, from the pyramids of Egypt to the greatest contemporary nation with the banks of the Mississippi. And just as Langston sees the value in African culture, he witnesses the “muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset.” He perceives the value in his skin color, it’s heart, and has witnessed it’s beautiful blossoming in the right moment, the sunset. Langston believes the soul of rivers is intertwined with the soul of his ancestry. 

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