At the time, Hughes was in the Soviet Union, touring its various countries and
struggling to put together the film Black and White with some fellow writers and actors. The manuscript Hughes sent Van Vechten that spring was some of Hughes' most radical work. It praised Soviet government and ways of life while criticizing America's hypocrisy and pride. Van Vechten's criticism, however, was less about the actual content of the poems and more about Hughes' apparent naive revolutionary fervor. He seemed concerned with Hughes' lack of poetic imagery and the overall impression it would make on his readers. It even seems a little ironic to me to ask a capitalist publisher to publish a book which is so very revolutionary and so little poetic in tone, Van Vechten wrote. Hughes disagreed with Van Vechten's impression of the manuscript, saying of the
poems, I like some of them as well as anything I ever did.
[...] Beneath the radical surface of the Good Morning Revolution poems is an intimate concern for humanity. The persona that Hughes adopts in many of these poems is the collective voice of the American poor, specifically that of the African American struggling to survive during the depression. But me, I ain't never had enough to eat. Me, I ain't never been warm in winter. Me, I ain't never known security- All my life, been livin' hand to mouth, Hand to mouth . [...]
[...] They are poems searching for an alternative to poverty and racism. They are poems which search for a light in the darkness. Works Consulted Bernard, Emily. Ed. Remember Me to Harlem: The Letters of Langston Hughes and Carl Van Vechten. Vintage Books. New York: 2001. Berry, Faith. Introduction. Good Morning Revolution: Uncollected Writings of Social Protest by Langston Hughes. Lawrence Hill & Company. New York, Westport: 1973. Hughes, Langston. “Good Morning Revolution.” Good Morning Revolution: Uncollected Works of Social Protest Ed. Faith Berry. [...]
[...] Poet, Humanist, Revolutionary:The Good Morning Revolution poems of Langston Hughes. On April Carl Van Vechten wrote to Langston Hughes in Russia: usual about your work I am going to be frank with you and tell you I don't like “Good Morning Revolution” (except in spots) at all . The revolutionary poems seem very weak to me: I mean very weak on the lyric side. I think in ten years, whatever the social outcome, you will be ashamed of these.” At the time, Hughes was in the Soviet Union, touring its various countries and struggling to put together the film “Black and White” with some fellow writers and actors. [...]
[...] The Life of Langston Hughes. Volume 1902-1942. I too, sing America. Oxford University Press. New York, Oxford: 1986. pp. 251-252 Bernard, Emily. Ed. Remember Me to Harlem: The Letters of Langston Hughes and Carl Van Vechten. Vintage Books. New York: 2001. pp 103 Ibid. Ibid, pp Ostrom, Hans. “Politics and Hughes” A Langston Hughes Encyclopedia. Greenswood Press. Westport: 2002. pp 309 Berry, Faith. Introduction. Good Morning Revolution: Uncollected Writings of Social Protest by Langston Hughes. Lawrence Hill & Company. New York, Westport: 1973. [...]
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