Langston Hughes On: “Dreams”


By: Langston Hughes 

“Hold fast to dreams

For if dreams die 

Life is a broken-winged bird 

That cannot fly. 

Hold fast to dreams 

For when dreams go 

Life is a barren field 

Frozen with snow.”

The theme for CPL this year is mental health, and I read the poem through that lens. In this context, a dream can refer to a reason for getting out of bed in the morning, whether it be to hang out with friends or to accomplish a goal you’ve been striving towards. Without purpose (a dream) life becomes restrictive, which can allude to getting stuck in a routine and days that seem to keep on repeating. This was a reality for me when I worked as an After-school teacher (for middle schoolers) for 5 years. Since I went to work right after school, I finally got back home at 6 pm but by then I was too exhausted to move and some days I would cry on my way home. The days were so long and emotionally/physically draining that I had no energy left to do anything but mindlessly scroll through TikTok or Instagram, which didn’t help my mental state. Since I was at that job for so long, I felt obligated to stay and didn’t look for any other jobs or positions because I became complacent with where I was. I was just thinking about that moment in time and forgot what I wanted for the future. My life was like it was moving in slow motion, the days felt longer but the time that I treasured was mere minutes.

This theme of being trapped/restricted is something that a lot of people with depression, anxiety, and ADHD/ADD struggle with in their day-to-day. A routine can help get someone moving but it may not always help with motivation. Living isn’t thriving, so instead of relying on the monotony of every day,: ”Life is a barren field, Frozen with snow.” (Hughes 7-8)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *