The Weary Blues
The Weary Blues
by Langston Hughes

The Weary Blues Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Welcome to the land of symbols, imagery, and wordplay. Before you travel any further, please know that there may be some thorny academic terminology ahead. Never fear, Shmoop is here. Check out our...

Form and Meter

Free VerseLangston Hughes said that Walt Whitman was one of his influences. Whitman was one of the first American poets to break out of strict rhythm and rhyme patterns. Hughes uses more consistent...

Speaker

The speaker is really excited to tell his audience about the musician he heard, but he never gets too excited. He's more interested in setting the mood and describing the event, than talking about...

Setting

The setting of this poem jumps around a bit without the reader knowing too much. The poem starts out with no clear setting, until we find out that the speaker is talking about a bar he went to. Aft...

Sound Check

Imagine this poem is a twinkling piano and a drummer gently tapping out the beats on a cymbal. The poem starts off kind of quickly until you get to the first "He did a lazy sway…" Otherwise,...

What's Up With the Title?

In a nutshell, "The Weary Blues" is a poem about a musician that wears himself out by singing the blues. "The Weary Blues" is the title of a ragtime song that Artie Matthews wrote in 1915. It's pos...

Calling Card

Lenox Avenue, Smokey Bars, and Blues SingersWriters are always supposed to write what they know. And as one of Harlem's literati (reader and writer of sophisticated literature), Langston Hughes sur...

Tough-O-Meter

(3) Base Camp Don't rack your brain too much over this one. Once you get the idea of the setting and the characters, just let yourself get into it. "The Weary Blues" is more about sharing in the mu...

Brain Snacks

Langston Hughes was traveled to Africa and also lived in Paris around the time he wrote "The Weary Blues." (Source)In 1924, Hughes won Opportunity magazine's literary contest for "The Weary Blues."...

Sex Rating

GA little lovin' and the guy wouldn't have the blues, now would he?

Shout Outs

Pop Culture ReferencesRagtime music originated by Scott Joplin "The Weary Blues" by Artie Matthews Lenox AvenueMix Tape"Rocking back and forth to a mellow croon": Cab Calloway, "Minnie the Moocher"...

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