Haiku by Ilene OnWords
We’re 1 month closer to spring,
THAT should bring a smile!
“No great poet has ever been afraid of being himself.”-Langston Hughes
Today is the birthday of one of my favorite, favorite poets, Langston Hughes who wasn’t “afraid of being himself” as he faced very uncertain and dangerous times to be a Black man in America and a gay one at that. When I was a child, my mom used to read aloud his column, “Simple” in the NY Post. Simple was a character who was anything but simple and was Langston Hughes’s alter ego to comment on society.”In 1942, during World War II, Hughes began writing a column for the African American newspaper, the Chicago Defender. In 1943 he introduced the character of Jesse B. Semple, or Simple, to his readers. This fictional everyman, while humorous, also allowed Hughes to discuss very serious racial issues. The Simple columns were also popular–and they ran for twenty years and were collected in several books.”-kansasheritage.org If you never read his biography, it’s well worth reading; he had an extremely interesting life; a troubled relationship with his dad; traveled widely; wrote prolifically and documented history through his poetry. I would use his poetry in my classroom and read his poems to my own 2 children.