If you cannot view images in your e-mail, please visit http://www.randomhouse.com/knopf/enewsletter/poetry08/21_hughes.html

"Consider Me" by Langston Hughes was first published in 1951, the be-bop inflected period of his great "Montage of a Dream Deferred".

Audio bonus: see further below for the next in this month's Frank O'Hara readings by Knopf poets.

Consider Me

Consider me,
A colored boy,
Once sixteen,
Once five, once three,
Once nobody,
Now me.
Before me
Papa, mama,
Grandpa, grandma,
So on back
To original
         (A capital letter there,
         Being Mystery.)

Consider me,
Colored boy,
Downtown at eight,
Sometimes working late,
Overtime pay
To sport away,
Or save,
Or give my Sugar
For the things
She needs.

My Sugar,
Consider her
Who works, too—
Has to.
One don't make enough
For all the stuff
It takes to live.
Forgive me
What I lack,
Caught in a crack
That splits the world in two
From China
By way of Arkansas
To Lenox Avenue.

Consider me,
On Friday the eagle flies.
Saturday laughter, a bar, a bed.
Sunday prayers syncopate glory.
Monday comes,
To work at eight,

Consider me,
Descended also
From the

Audio bonus! Click here to listen to Mark Strand reading Frank O'Hara's "Autobiographia Literaria".



About Langston Hughes

Miss one of our daily poems? You can view them online in the Knopf Poem-a-Day archive.


Excerpt from THE COLLECTED POEMS OF LANGSTON HUGHES. Copyright © 1994 by The Estate of Langston Hughes. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

We welcome your feedback. Please send any thoughts or questions to knopfwebmaster@randomhouse.com

You received this issue because your email address is in Knopf's Poem-a-Day mailing list. To unsubscribe, send a blank email to unsub_knopfpoetry@info.randomhouse.com. Or if you received this poem as a forward and wish to subscribe, send a blank email to sub_knopfpoetry@info.randomhouse.com.