“Harlem” by Langston Hughes was published on the Poetry

By Langston Hughes
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?
Complete the following: (you must print this out)
1. take each line and write what you think it means! If you need to look some
words up to help with your understanding…do it!
2. To what does Hughes compare a DREAM? What type of figurative language is
being used to make each comparison?
3. To what social or political consequence does the last line suggest could result?
*Based on your responses above, compose an 8 to 10 sentence response in which
you discuss the meaning of the poem, pointing out the figurative language the
poet used to convey this meaning. Ultimately, be sure to answer # 3 in your
Citation Information: The poem “Harlem” by Langston Hughes was published on
the Poetry Foundation online database in 2014. You accessed and printed this story
on the date ___ Apr. 2014
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