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Langston Hughes (Voice of the Poet) Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook

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Product Details

  • Series: Voice of the Poet
  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Random House Audio (March 26, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553714910
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553714913
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,970,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7-Up This new series provides listeners with archival recordings by renowned 20th century poets, both of their own works and their remarks about their lives and works. This volume excels in the particular poems selected for inclusion and their arrangement, the splices made between recording sessions which allow for a unified hour, and the fact that Langston Hughes discusses themes in his life and work which will resonate with contemporary listeners and readers. The opening tracks feature Hughes talking about his childhood and youth; each poem beyond that is framed by his remarks on its genesis, place in his canon, and connection to the personal, political, or artistic world to which its content is related. Hughes was a comfortable speaker, making this a particularly accessible recording for youth. The paperback book includes the text of each poem as it was published (but not necessarily as Hughes recites it) as well as an introductory essay by poet and critic J. D. McClatchy. This is a stellar choice for both public and school collections, and should be brought to the attention of classroom teachers as an outstanding supplement to the study of contemporary poetry and/or social sciences.
Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Langston Hughes (1902-1967) was a writer of astonishing range. Poetry, fiction, plays, autobiography, essays, libretti for operas and Broadway musicals, and cantatas - work streamed from his desk. It is as a poet though, that he is best known, and his place at the center of Harlem Renaissance was enormously influential. He was the first African-American to write civil-rights protest poetry, as well as the first to use jazz and the blues as a basis for a literary style. Few poets have ever potrayed so vividly the black experience, its triumphs and travails, and in a language that cunningly dramatizes the folk vernacular. Hughes was born in Missouri, worked as a manual laborer and traveled the world - the better, in the end, to know so intimately the realities of urban life for the displaced and rootless. He wrote with eloquence, humor and a deep humanity.

"A poet," he once wrote, "is a human being. Each human being must live within his time, with and for his people, and within the boundaries of his country." Hughes wrote of the drama of his time with a sense of truth that continues to startle and move.

Customer Reviews

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See all 6 customer reviews
Langston Hughes' style of poetry is simply amazing.
Trilogy Poetry Review
This is a CD and Book package that spans the entire career of Langston Hughes's work that was recorded on tape in different settings throughout the years.
Steffan Piper
Any one who enjoys poetry, social commentary and history will enjoy this CD.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By T. Kelley on July 3, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Humor, anger, and all the eloquence of the black experience in America is to be found in some of the poems presented here on this audio cd from the THE VOICE OF THE POET SERIES: LANGSTON HUGHES. Also presented is commentary inserted in-between Hughes reading of his poems. You get the background of how a certain poem came into being. You get Hughes talking about his childhood and racial pride. You get Hughes voice, soft, sort of high pitched, and inviting. MY LORD, MERRY-GO-ROUND, THE NEGRO SPEAKS OF RIVERS, JUDGEMENT DAY, MY PEOPLE, WHEN SUE WEARS RED, and FIRE are a few of the poems recited on this cd by Hughes. For those able to do so, I recommend purchasing the audio tape, LANGSTON HUGHES READS HIS POETRY, because this cd truncates some of Hughes commentary and poems.

It does a disservice to Hughes to dismiss much of his body of work as "wry" to make a particular audience more comfortable with it. It does a similar disservice to Hughes' integrity to ignore that both his parents were black and play up distant white blood to make him more palatable, so-called universal, to the larger audiencences prejudices (most of black America share his same distant bloodlines). One of Hughes's biographers said you cannot respect Hughes without respecting black American people and their culture in the U.S. To disrespect one is to do so to both. Hughes's black pride permeates his so-called race poems and poems of social protest from the 30s and the vast majority of his work in general.

Langston Hughes showed his anger and bitterness toward the injustices of racism as he sharecropped his way among many different genres of the arts as a proud and unflinching black American.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Trilogy Poetry Review on April 5, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I am an author and a poet. Langston Hughes' style of poetry is simply amazing. This CD gives a historical rendition on the era of his childhood, school years, work experiences and poetic growth. His world travels certainly expanded his vision of life and impacted positively on his writings. The enlightenment of his trip to Africa resulted in the poem "My People." This poem has a fascinating view of Africa, the people, and Hughes' connection with them. His articulation of the poem "Mother to Son" is amazing. He shows another side of life and how one's vision influences the rearing of a child. One of the greatest poems on the CD is "The Negro Speaks of Rivers." This was written while taking a trip to Mexico to visit his father. In this piece he gives a visionary perspective and uses the art of personification to make the connection of his people, history, and life from a historical standpoint. The poem "Words Like Freedom' and "Tomorrow" will touch the heart of the reader. The stories on the CD are awesome. The reflection he gives of life during his younger years certainly is a distinctive comparison from then to now, especially highlighting how individuals were treated based on the color of their skin. This CD is a must have for one's poetry library. This is not just a CD of poetry it is also a CD of history. Also check "Trilogy Moments for the Mind, Body and Soul" with the new selection of Epulaeryu poems.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 21, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This is a terrific addition to the Voice of the Poet series. Langston Hughes doesn't just read his poems; he talks about their genesis and about his life. For all the ugliness of Jim Crow, he never sounds bitter, but he tells the whole truth, doesn't sugarcoat anything. My one tiny disappointment is that in the book the format was changed on a couple of poems due to space constraints. This CD is worth it just for his story of how he became a poet. I listen to lots of audio poetry and this is one of the best collections I've ever found. You can't miss.
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