The Negro Speaks of Rivers
by Langston Hughes
The Negro Speaks of Rivers Summary
Our speaker introduces himself in the first line by telling us that he has known rivers and that his soul has come to be as deep as a river. Then he explains to us just how that transformation took place. He must be one ancient man, because he has been around for thousands of years. He used to go swimming the Euphrates River when Earth was just a baby. He lived near the Congo River in central Africa. He helped to build the pyramids in Egypt almost four thousand years ago. He heard the Mississippi River sing when President Abraham Lincoln took a boat ride down to New Orleans. He tells us again that he has known lots of ancient, dusky rivers, and that his soul has become as deep as these rivers.