African American Poetry (1870-1926): A Digital Anthology

Langston Hughes, "Our Land: Poem for a Decorative Panel " (1923)

We should have a land of sun,
Of gorgeous sun,
And a land of fragrant water
Where the twilight
Is a soft bandanna handkerchief
Of rose and gold,
And not this land where life is cold.

We should have a land of trees,
Of tall thick trees
Bowed down with chattering parrots
Brilliant as the day,
And not this land where birds are grey.

Ah, we should have a land of joy,
Of love and joy and wine and song,
And not this land where joy is wrong.
Oh, sweet, away!
Ah, my beloved one, away!

Published in The World Tomorrow, May 1923
Published in Opportunity, May 1924
Also published in The Weary Blues, 1926

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