(Break the heart of me) (2, 10)
A broken heart? Yeah, yeah, we've heard it all before. Seriously, can't you come up with a more original poetic concept, Langston? Oh wait. This line isn't cliché at all. For one thing, it's in parentheses, which undercuts the cheese factor. For another, it's got that funky phrasing to shake things up. And here's the kicker—it reads like a command. When's the last time you demanded someone break your heart?
They hung my black young lover (3)
Okay, so if anyone has a right to a broken heart, it's this girl. So next time you think you're heartbroken because your special someone dumped you in front of the whole school, just think about this girl.
Love is a naked shadowOn a gnarled and naked tree (11-12)
We've heard it's like a key, like quicksilver, like a song, like a violin—you name it and someone has probably compared it to love. But this is no ordinary, sentimental metaphor. This poem deals with love when it's struck by tragedy and racism. By the end of this poem love no longer seems happy and rosy. Instead, it's dark, shadowy, gnarled, and naked. Yikes.