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Song for a Dark Girl
Song for a Dark Girl
by Langston Hughes

Song for a Dark Girl Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

Rhyming Quatrains of Iambic TrimeterHow could the form of such a short poem have such a long name? Don't worry. We'll show you.Four LinersEach of the three stanzas in this Stanzas with four lines i...

Speaker

This is one poem in which we have a clear cut case of the speaker being quite different from the author. While both are black, and are connected by the persecution of their race, Langston Hughes is...

Setting

We're told three times in this poem where we are—way down South in Dixie. So, we're probably somewhere like Mississippi, Louisiana, or Alabama—you know, the Deep South. Bets are we're somewhere...

Sound Check

Grab your harmonica, and maybe a guitar. It's time to sing the blues, Shmoopers. We know you've got it in you. We mean, the poem's called a "Song" for crying out loud. It begs to be given notes. Th...

What's Up With the Title?

The title lets us know right away that the speaker of this poem is distinct from the poet. Langston Hughes is no girl. That means that we're dealing with a little something called a persona poem, o...

Calling Card

Black Americans and the BluesLangston Hughes wrote blues poetry about the experience of being black. He was inspired by black blues singers, especially those of the Harlem Renaissance. Like the blu...

Tough-o-Meter

(2) Sea LevelThe rhythm of this poem carries you right on through like you're cresting on a wave. But watch for sharks—the subtleties of this poem, which can seem so simple. The best parts of thi...

Trivia

LANGSTON HUGHES—THE SEWER DWELLER. Now there's a headline. It turns out a lot of folks weren't big fans of Langston back in the day, and many thought his poems depicted an unsavory portrait of bl...

Steaminess Rating

PG 13While we don't actually see any love-making, we get some disturbing emotional content. This poem is about two young lovers. One is physically stripped, beaten, and lynched. The other, the girl...

Allusions

Historical References:The Civil War, through the Confederacy's unofficial national anthem, "Dixie" (1, 5, and 9)Religious References:Jesus Christ (4, 7)

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