Academic journal article Language Arts

Sail Away: Poems by Langston Hughes

Academic journal article Language Arts

Sail Away: Poems by Langston Hughes

Article excerpt

Sail Away: Poems by Langston Hughes Written by Langston Hughes Illustrated by Ashley Bryan Atheneum, 2015, unpaged, ISBN 978-1- 4814- 3085- 2

The iconic poetry of world-renowned writer Langston Hughes and the celebrated artistry of Ashley Bryan's cut-paper collages are brought together in this fine collection of illustrated poems that honor aquatic landscapes. Inspired by his journey through Africa and Europe, Hughes's prose embraces the deep waters he travelled as a seaman and evokes the long tradition of symbolism, myth, and lore of deep waters. This collection of 15 poems celebrating the currents of water-and the life above and below its surface-are a departure from Hughes's most recognized writing on race and identity. Yet these lines still possess the improvisational style readers have long come to admire. One poem begins, "The sea is a wilderness of waves,/ A desert of water./ We dip and dive, Rise and roll,/ Hide and are hidden/On the sea."

The endless horizons of the oceans, the ebbs and flows of the tide, rolling waves, windy rivers, mermaids, and seamen anchor this collection thoughtfully brought together by one of Hughes's greatest admirers, award-winning artist Ashley Bryan. …

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