African American Poetry (1870-1928): A Digital Anthology

Langston Hughes, "Pictures to the Wall" (1926)

Shall I tell you of my old, old dreams
Lost at the earth's strange turnings,
Some in the sea when the waves foamed high.
Some in a garret candle's burnings?

Shall I tell you of bitter, forgotten dreams—
You who are still so young, so young?
You with your wide brown singing eyes
And laughter at the tip of your tongue.

Shall I tell you of weary, weary dreams,—
You who have lost no dreams at all,
Or shall I keep quiet and let turn
My ugly pictures to the wall?

Published in Palms, October 1926