Cover image for The dream keeper and other poems
The dream keeper and other poems
Hughes, Langston, 1902-1967.
First paperback edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Knopf, 1996.

Physical Description:
xi, 83 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
A collection of sixty-six poems, selected by the author for young readers, including lyrical poems, songs, and blues, many exploring the black experience.
General Note:
"Including seven additional poems."
Reading Level:
NP Lexile.
Program Information:
Reading Counts RC 6-8 5.5 4 Quiz: 03327 Guided reading level: NR.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3515.U274 D7 1994C Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Illus. in black-and-white. This classic collection of poetry is available in a handsome new gift edition that includes seven additional poems written after The Dream Keeper was first published. In a larger format, featuring Brian Pinkney's scratchboard art on every spread, Hughes's inspirational message to young people is as relevant today as it was in 1932.

Author Notes

Langston Hughes, February 1, 1902 - May 22, 1967 Langston Hughes, one of the foremost black writers to emerge from the Harlem Renaissance, was born on February 1, 1902, in Joplin, Mo. Hughes briefly attended Columbia University before working numerous jobs including busboy, cook, and steward. While working as a busboy, he showed his poems to American poet Vachel Lindsay, who helped launch his career. He soon obtained a scholarship to Lincoln University and had several works published.

Hughes is noted for his depictions of the black experience. In addition to the black dialect, he incorporated the rhythms of jazz and the blues into his poetry. While many recognized his talent, many blacks disapproved of his unflattering portrayal of black life. His numerous published volumes include, "The Weary Blues," "Fine Clothes to the Jew," and "Montage of a Dream Deferred." Hughes earned several awards during his lifetime including: a Guggenheim fellowship, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Grant, and a Spingarn Medal from the NAACP.

Langston Hughes died of heart failure on May 22, 1967.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 4-12. Hughes' classic poetry collection, originally published for young people in 1932, is reissued here in a handsome new edition. It includes seven additional poems, a fine introduction by Lee Bennett Hopkins, and a personal afterword by Augusta Baker. Black-and-white scratchboard illustrations in Pinkney's signature style express the emotion and beat of the poetry, the laughter that hides pain, the celebration and the struggle of the African American experience, and the music of the weary blues. The poems are as powerful today as they were 60 years ago, colloquial and direct yet mysterious and complex. The simplicity of these lines makes them accessible to middle-graders but doesn't detract from their appeal to older readers. As Hopkins says, "Poem: I loved my friend" has become an elegy for separation and loss. History and the most private feeling "mingle themselves softly" in the voices that "cross and recross" here. Demanding to be spoken aloud, the words sing for all of us. There's no better way to show kids that poetry is about them than to share this collection. (Reviewed Mar. 15, 1994)067984421XHazel Rochman

Publisher's Weekly Review

Originally published in 1932, this edition of Hughes's vibrant poems includes seven additional poems and is enhanced by dynamic scratchboard art. All ages. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Lee Bennett HopkinsAugusta Baker
Introductionp. x
The Dream Keeper
The Dream Keeperp. 2
Winter Moonp. 3
Dreamsp. 4
Winter Sweetnessp. 4
April Rain Songp. 6
Joyp. 7
After Many Springsp. 8
Quiet Girlp. 9
Fairiesp. 10
Autumn Thoughtp. 11
Poemp. 12
Sea Charm
Sea Charmp. 14
Water-Front Streetsp. 15
Long Tripp. 16
Death of an Old Seamanp. 17
Seascapep. 18
Sailorp. 18
Irish Wakep. 20
Beggar Boyp. 21
Parisian Beggar Womanp. 22
Mexican Market Womanp. 23
Sea Calmp. 24
Dressed Up
A Note on Bluesp. 26
Dressed Upp. 27
Bound No'th Bluesp. 28
Songp. 29
The Weary Bluesp. 30
Negro Dancersp. 32
Song for a Banjo Dancep. 34
Reasons Whyp. 35
Minstrel Manp. 36
Po' Boy Bluesp. 37
When Sue Wears Redp. 38
A Black Pierrotp. 39
Wide Riverp. 41
Passing Lovep. 42
Homesick Bluesp. 43
Night and Mornp. 44
Feet o'Jesus
Feet o'Jesusp. 46
Babyp. 47
Ma Lordp. 48
Judgment Dayp. 49
Lullabyp. 50
Prayerp. 52
Sinnerp. 53
Prayer Meetingp. 54
Walkers with the Dawn
Walkers with the Dawnp. 56
Dream Variationp. 57
The Negrop. 59
My Peoplep. 60
Sun Songp. 61
The Negro Speaks of Riversp. 62
I, Toop. 63
Mother to Sonp. 64
Youthp. 65
Alabama Earthp. 66
Lincoln Monument: Washingtonp. 67
Aunt Sue's Storiesp. 68
As I Grew Olderp. 70
African Dancep. 72
Additional Poems
Snailp. 74
Starsp. 75
Dream Dustp. 76
Colorp. 76
Daybreak in Alabamap. 77
Merry-Go-Roundp. 79
In Time of Silver Rainp. 80
A Personal Notep. 82