The Dream Keeper and Other Poems

by Langston Hughes

Paperback, 1996



Call number

811 Hug

Call number

811 Hug

Local notes

811 Hug



Knopf Books for Young Readers (1996), Edition: 1st, Paperback, 96 pages


A collection of sixty-six poems, selected by the author for young readers, including lyrical poems, songs, and blues, many exploring the black experience.


Physical description

96 p.; 6.49 inches


0679883479 / 9780679883470



User reviews

LibraryThing member IEliasson
A classic collection of youth poetry by Langston Hughes richly deserving of its adulation. The gorgeous verse is evocative of spirituals, prayer, lullabies, the blues, and the music of life in general, African American in particular. This collection was Hughes sole effort composing verse for young readers, but it reads like all of his work, bittersweet and melodic, hopeful and elegiac. Can stand alone or be combined for countless curriculum units, i.e.: Harlem Renaissance, poetry, Langston Hughes, African American history, etc.… (more)
LibraryThing member linnaea44
I love this poetry, it's simple and the illustrations are beautiful. The black and white illustrations were classic and correlated with the audience he was trying to reach. Even though it was written for children I found it extremely inspirational. The title is representative of the poetry collection. The poems reveal Hughes experiences on a ship and his travels to foreign countries. This would be great for bedtime reading or to jump start a writing assignment or art assignment. Probably could be tied in with a history or geography lesson.… (more)
LibraryThing member cbruiz
In this poetry collection by Langston Hughes, the poems are broken into sections depicting the particularites of Negro life, including The Dream Keeper, Sea Charm, Dressed Up, Feet o' Jesus, and Walkers with the Dawn. In The Dream Keeper section, I enjoyed the poem "Joy," which describes a young lady in search of joy, and finding it "in the arms of a butcher boy!" In the Sea Charm section i enjoyed the poem "Death of an Old Seaman," which describes the soul of a seaman, although his body is buried in the ground, "his soul went out to sea." In the dressed up section I enjoyed the poem "Song," which encourages the meanderings of a "child of night" to be patient in his pain, and embrace the "light." In the "Feet o' Jesus" section I enjoyed the poem "Judgment Day" which describes death as being only physical, there being infinite life beyond the grave. In the Walkers with the Dawn section, I enjoyed "My People," which relates the beauty of the night, stars and sun to the beauty of the Negro man, woman, and child. The poems, although simple in their prose and ryhme, alltogether, imply detailed impressions of differnt lives and times, as well as the author's kinship with and love for his people.… (more)
LibraryThing member mcivalleri
This book would be good for older students who can appreciate these subtleties. The poems are accessible to the average person, I think, and yet they have a delicate, beautiful quality to them. Whether a touching sad moment, or a wonderful tranquil moment, each poem captures something special. I am not generally a big poetry fan, but I sure liked these poems.… (more)
LibraryThing member barefootTL
ELIB 530A LibraryThing – Part D – poetry book/anthologies
I checked this book out from the library, but after reading it I think it is one I would like to own. In the introduction it says that this is the sole offering of verse for children that Langston Hughes wrote, but I think it is ageless and is a perfect book to read out loud to discuss and enjoy between all generations in a family and beyond. The poems are varied with some rhyming, others not and others that could be sung. Lee Bennett Hopkins prefaced the section entitled “Dressed Up” by explaining that five poems in the section were “written in the manner of the blues” and they have a strict poetic pattern. This was interesting and helpful but the poems would be good without that knowledge. Much of the book could be sung. This book of poetry is a beautiful glimpse into the heart and soul of an important and prolific American writer.… (more)
LibraryThing member Backus2
Although Langston Hughes passed on in the 60's, his words stay with us. He was a dreamer, and a huge role model from the Harlem Renaissance. His words allow all children to dream big, and to keep dreaming.
LibraryThing member Trock33
As one of my favorite poets, Langston Hughes did a wonderful job with this book. I would definitely recommend this book to many ages young and old. He has a soft melody to his words that always grabs the attention of the readers. The poem Snail was my favorite!
LibraryThing member bookworm12
For the record, I’m no poetry expert. When I read collections from poets I’m making an effort to step outside of my comfort zone and challenge myself, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to enjoy them in the same way a connoisseur of the genre would. There are some poems I love, but as a whole, poetry isn’t something I gravitate towards.

That being said, Hughes is undeniably talented. His poems show a deep pride in his African-American roots and it’s easy to understand why his name has become synonymous with the Harlem Renaissance. He gave a voice to the hopes and fears of generations of black Americans who were fighting against segregation.

I’m not the target audience for his work and so I’m sure some of its impact is lost on me. I did love some of the poems, including the title one shown below. Others seemed too simple and slid by me with little effect. I think this collection is a great introduction to his work and I will probably read more from him in the future.

The Dream Keeper

Bring me all of your dreams,
You dreamer,
Bring me all your
Heart melodies
That I may wrap them
In a blue cloud-cloth
Away from the too-rough fingers
Of the world.
… (more)
LibraryThing member angelabotha
There’s a child-like simplicity to some of the poems that I found captivating. The poems deal with the challenges in being an African-American—they speak of the joyful as well as painful aspects of living. Themes range from heartbreak, to holding onto dreams despite the burdens we bear as well to the pain of lost dreams. Some are religious in nature and some focus on the beauty of the natural world. One can’t help get the impression that this man, this poet had lived a life of great depth and admire how he was able to fashion something so beautiful from some difficult life experiences. The black and white illustrations that accompany the poem only further enhance what is already a very moving reading experience.… (more)

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