February 28, 2013

A Dream Deferred

 By Langston Hughes (published in 1951)

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up 
like a raisin in the sun?
 Or fester like a sore—
and then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?
This is the first poem I ever memorized. I learned it for a Black History Month presentation while in middle school and it remains my favorite poem today.



  1. I have a couple of questions regarding this poem.

    Why does Langston use 6 questions and only 1 answer?
    How could a civil rights leader use the poem dream deferred in support of their cause?

    1. I think because the one answer applies to all six questions.