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Black History Month – Langston Hughes – Old Walt

 

The poem of the day for today’s Black History Month Langston Hughes celebration is “Old Walt.” During February each year, people all across the United States celebrate Black History Month. Things are no different here at Janeane’s World. This month I am copying an idea I got from my friend Pammy Pam over at An Unconventional Librarian and I am devoting the entire month to the poems of my favorite author and poet, Langston Hughes. I will share a poem a day for the entire month.

You may ask what place does poetry or celebrations of Black History month have in this blog that was created to encourage, inspire and motivate women to be their best at work and home. I would answer that I am an African-American woman so black history is my history and when you understand and appreciate it, you come closer to understanding and appreciating me. I would also answer that poetry, like all forms of artistic expression fuels our passions, gives us hope makes us think and makes our lives richer and better.

Old Walt

Old Walt Whitman
Went finding and seeking,
Finding less than sought
Seeking more than found,
Every detail minding
Of the seeking or the finding.

Pleasured equally
In seeking as in finding,
Each detail minding,
Old Walt went seeking
And finding.

When I first saw the title to this poem, I immediately thought of my Uncle Walt who taught me about cars and engines. Looking at the words here and remembering learning about Walt Whitman in school and all his thinking and planning and woods wandering. When you look at the words and take them apart, the first stanza seems so sad. Why would one want to find less than one looked for and look for more than was ever found.

The second paragraph brings hope and reminds us that there is goodness and joy to be found in both seeking and finding. The last two lines of the poem that tells about how Walt went looking and finding gives hope it talks about a dream achieved and not deferred.

Apply that in your own life. Find a way to take pleasure in learning and in what you learn. Remember that it is good to enjoy the journey and the final destination. It really is all about your attitude. Because though you cannot control the world, you and control how you react to it.

 

 

If you want to get some Langston Hughes books of your own, check out the following. Please note, these are affiliate links which means I may earn income if you purchase one of these books.

1. This is the book I keep on my desk in my office. It is worn out and the edges are frayed because I use it so much. It was a gift from my husband which makes it a special treasure.

Selected Poems of Langston Hughes (Vintage Classics)


2. The Simple stories were my introduction to Langston Hughes. They are an incredible combination of entertainment, sociology and politics of the time.

The Early Simple Stories (Collected Works of Langston Hughes, Vol 7)


Janeane Davis

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