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Dream Your World…and Live it!

Dream Your World…and Live it!


Langston Hughes published “I Dream a World” in Harlem’s Amsterdam News in 1941. The poem circulated for many years after in various publications. It’s an uplifting poem compared to his early writings during an unhappy and financially desperate year in Washington, DC in 1925. Ironically, that year was the most productive of the young Langston Hughes’ writing career. While working as a busboy at the Wardman Park Hotel, Hughes noticed poet Vachel Lindsay dining and took the risk to slip his own poems next to Lindsay’s plate. In 1926, Hughes first book of poems, The Weary Blues, was published receiving great reviews. In 1951, Hughes will write “Harlem [2]” best known for its first line –“What happens to a dream deferred?”– and the inspiration for a famous play by Lorraine Hansberry (“A Raisin in the Sun”).

I chose Hughes’ earlier poem for the 2015 holiday message. “I Dream a World” reflects the hopes as well as the concerns of our times. The poem doesn’t stand apart from his later “Harlem [2]” poem. In fact they both bring messages of hope and urgency for all of us to engage, to dream the world, and live it!

Wishing you a beautiful and peaceful holiday season.