These are a few of my favorite things:#6 (Life is Fine by Langston Hughes)
Life is Fine by Langston Hughes
I went down to the river,
I set down on the bank.
I tried to think but couldn’t,
So I jumped in and sank.
I came up once and hollered!
I came up twice and cried!
If that water hadn’t a-been so cold
I might’ve sunk and died.
But it was Cold in that water! It was cold!
I took the elevator
Sixteen floors above the ground.
I thought about my baby
And thought I would jump down.
I stood there and I hollered!
I stood there and I cried!
If it hadn’t a-been so high
I might’ve jumped and died.
But it was High up there! It was high!
So since I’m still here livin’,
I guess I will live on.
I could’ve died for love–
But for livin’ I was born
Though you may hear me holler,
And you may see me cry–
I’ll be dogged, sweet baby,
If you gonna see me die.
Life is fine! Fine as wine! Life is fine!
The Brilliance of this poetry lies in it’s 3 prime characteristics: Simplicity, humor & profundity. Take one of them out & it will lose it’s magic. However sad the life may be & we might say we want to give it up all, but when everything is said & done, life is still worth living. This message has been beautifully conveyed by the poet. Though on one level the guy seems to be very dejected on being jilted by a lover & wants to end his life, yet the will to live within him asserts itself. After all, Life is Fine! Fine as wine! Life is Fine.
The humor here is absolute genius. I mean who would care for the coldness of water or the ‘highness’ of height if one really wanted to die??Also the humor in a way reminded me of this funny pic!!!
- HW Shop: Langston Hughes ‘The Big Sea,’ 1944, Signed (harlemworldmag.com)
- Drinks With Langston (awakenedwords.wordpress.com)
- Rivers; and, Langston Hughes, ‘The Negro Speaks of Rivers’ (trophos.wordpress.com)
- Poetry: A Forgotten Art (guardianlv.com)
- Langston Hughes (myownheart.me)
- When Hope Is Shipwrecked (momsfirstscreenn.wordpress.com)