“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?”~Langston Hughes
*This is one of my favorite poems by the highly esteemed Harlem Renaissance writer Langston Hughes. This may be one of Hughes’ most famous poems and I especially love this poem in connection with the play, A Raisin in the Sun, which got its name from this poem. I feel like this poem really sets up the story of the play and the plot of the play is really built around this poem. It’s all about dreams. Essentially, what happens when you don’t follow your dreams? Based off of this poem it seems like Hughes’ is trying to convey the message that not following your dreams can have unpleasant consequences. When you think about your dreams and you stew over the fact that you can’t get anywhere, the weight of it all can be maddening. In the play this reaction is most notable in the character Walter Younger who had dreams of going into business for himself by using his dead father’s insurance money. He became obsessed. It’s almost like the dreams that he had were eating him up inside. I think this is a very good poem to reflect on. Tell me what are your thoughts on this poem? Here I’ve posted a link to the poem