my soul has grown deep like the rivers

Instead of one big final report on Marta and my travels, I figured that over the next couple weeks I'd sporadically post some poetry-related highlights. Let's call this part two of that series (the first being the big stack o' books).

One of the highlights of our visit to New York was the "Rivers" installation at the Schomburg Centre for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, which is based on the Langston Hughes poem "The Negro Speaks of Rivers":

It's a striking display - the poem is never written out in its entirety, but excerpts appear throughout the installation along with the names of the four rivers mentioned in the poem (the names of other great rivers of the world ring the edges of the room) and dates that correspond to the lives of Hughes and Schomburg. Needless to say, my pictures don't do it justice - here they are nonetheless, along with the poem's text and audio of Hughes reading it (complete with introduction):

The Negro Speaks of Rivers - Langston Hughes

I've known rivers:
I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
flow of human blood in human veins.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln
went down to New Orleans, and I've seen its muddy
bosom turn all golden in the sunset.

I've known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

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