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

Langston Hughes, "Poem for Youth" (1927)

Poem for Youth 

By Langston Hughes 

On the crumbling walls
Of tradition,
Across mouldy pits
Of yesterday.

Wise old men,
What do you say
About the fiddles
And the jazz
And the loud Hey ! Hey !
About the dancing girls,
And the laughing boys,
And the Brilliant lights,
And the blaring joys,
The firecracker days
And the nights,– 

Staid old men,
What do you say
About sun-filled rain
Drowning yesterday?

Published in The Messenger, June 1927

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