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By Langston Hughes

I look at the world

From awakening eyes in a black face—

And this is what I see:

This fenced-off narrow space   

Assigned to me.


I look then at the silly walls

Through dark eyes in a dark face—

And this is what I know:

That all these walls oppression builds

Will have to go!


I look at my own body   

With eyes no longer blind—

And I see that my own hands can make

The world that’s in my mind.

Then let us hurry, comrades,

The road to find.


Langston Hughes, "I look at the world" from (New Haven: Beinecke Library, Yale University, )

Source: Poetry (December 2008)

  • Social Commentaries

Poet Bio

Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes is the poet laureate of African-American experience — a popular writer of the Harlem Renaissance who gave hopeful expression to the aspirations of the oppressed, even as he decried racism and injustice. In addition to poetry, he published fiction, drama, autobiography, and translations. His work continues to serve as a model of wide empathy and social commitment. See More By This Poet

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