Poetry Inspired by Langston Hughes

Meghan Rydell, Staff Writer

Langston Hughes, a renowned American Poet, describes to us a moment of parental advice in a poem called Mother to Son. Hughes shares the story of a mother, who’s had a rough life, telling her son that things get bad, but you don’t give up. Hughes uses powerful and descriptive language to tell readers this story. However, a key part of his poem falls within his extended metaphor.

In the poem, Hughes writes that the mother’s life hasn’t been a crystal staircase (Hughes). He describes to readers, that her life has not been perfect, clear, or easy. Which is all the more why her son should not give up. As an eighth grader reading this in ELA with Ms.DePasquale, we were given a task: Write a poem with your own extended metaphor. At the end of writing this poem, I really saw what Langston Hughes was talking about.  


Father to Daughter  

By Meghan Rydell

Oh, daughter, you young innocent child.

I have lived the life you can’t even dream.

I’ve been riding this elevator searching for the right floor.

People got on, and the elevator went to rock bottom.

People got off and the elevator settled,

Unsure, as was I of what was to come.

Sometimes, the elevator even went up.

The day I met your mother.

The day my bundles of joy entered this world.

But I have felt the elevator rise and fall,

but to where I was never sure.

It was an endless cycle, my dear.

But if you only knew.

I promise daughter,

You will never walk alone.

You will never face or live the life that I have lived,

Because I am here.

And if I’m still standing, then you’re still standing.

Because I’ve reached the bottom floor,

But you won’t.

And my sunshine,

I have never been to the top floor,

But I know you can.

This elevator,

It breaks down and you cry,

It rises and falls with your emotions,

It causes pain and happiness.

And it will stop.

But never stop with it.

Search and explore.

And if it’s not right,

Get on that elevator and search the next floor.

Because Princess, I know.

I know because I’ve lived it.

I know because I’ve dreamed it.

And now, my beautiful girl, I want you to know.

You will learn, as did I,

That you will never stay on one floor.

But now,

It’s your turn get on.