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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Poetry Friday--April Is...

April is National Poetry Month! It is also Jazz Appreciation Month! So let's celebrate both with this poem by Langston Hughes:

Oh, silver tree!
Oh, shining rivers of the soul!

In a Harlem cabaret
Six long-headed jazzers play.
A dancing girl whose eyes are bold
Lifts high a dress of silken gold.

Oh, singing tree!
Oh, shining rivers of the soul!

Were Eve's eyes
In the first garden
Just a bit too bold?
Was Cleopatra gorgeous
In a gown of gold?

Oh, shining tree!
Oh, silver rivers of the soul!

In a whirling cabaret
Six long-headed jazzers play.

Found in The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes [811 HUG].

Amy at The Poem Farm will be hosting this first Round-Up for Poetry Month 2016.

"The Jazz Singer" by Charles Demuth (1916), courtesy The Athenaeum.


  1. I now think about the jazzers at work...I wonder how they sound...I wonder how the dancer moves.

    1. The painting is from 1916 and the poem from the 1920s, this might be what the jazz of the time sounded like: www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqEIEDEBnfg.

  2. Diane, it is a beautiful poem with rhythm that you have shared. I can imagine the glory days of jazz in Harlem through this poem. Happy Poetry Month.

    1. Happy Poetry Month to you, too!

  3. Such mystery and hip swing to this.

  4. Thank you for introducing me to this poem by Langston Hughes. I was just thinking about him and a story yesterday, and it was a treat to find this. Happy Poetry Month! xo