African American Poetry (1870-1928): 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!

[Editor's Note: in the Survey Graphic version of this poem, the final couplet is omitted]

Published in The World Tomorrow, May 1923
Published in Opportunity, May 1924
Also published in Survey Graphic, March 1925
Also published in The New Negro: an Interpretation, 1925
Also published in The Weary Blues, 1926

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