Daybreak In Alabama

When I get to be a composer
I'm gonna write me some music about
Daybreak in Alabama
And I'm gonna put the purtiest songs in it
Rising out of the ground like a swamp mist
And falling out of heaven like soft dew.
I'm gonna put some tall tall trees in it
And the scent of pine needles
And the smell of red clay after rain
And long red necks
And poppy colored faces
And big brown arms
And the field daisy eyes
Of black and white black white black people
And I'm gonna put white hands
And black hands and brown and yellow hands
And red clay earth hands in it
Touching everybody with kind fingers
And touching each other natural as dew
In that dawn of music when I
Get to be a composer
And write about daybreak
In Alabama.

by Langston Hughes

Comments (11)

Masterful writing from which I have learned technique to further enhance my writing skills.
Marvelous portrayal of an abandoned factory. Congrats on modern poet of the Day.
The gates are chained, the barbed-wire fencing stands, An iron authority against the snow, And this grey monument to common sense.... Men lived within these foundries, hour by hour; Nothing they forged outlived the rusted gears Which might have served to grind their eulogy. wow, so much written between the first and last lines, I particularly liked the images of 'broken windows', 'great presses paused between their strokes', 'air suspended, caught' and 'the sure margin of eternity.' this is a massive work with so many exceptional lines, a topic exceptionally well written in this poem, which is often a badly written topic makes 'An Abandoned Factory, Detroit' a masterpiece for me, even the title sets up wonderful resonant themes within the poem, loved this.
this poem resonates in america today and is the reason many voted for donald trump. but mainly i want to comment on the craft of the poem. i'm not familiar with levine's work, but after reading this i want to read some more. this poem has a tight rhyme scheme and sticks with pentameter, but i hardly noticed it when reading. it flowed logically and naturally. he begins with the outside of the factory then moves attention to the inside through broken windows with muscular descriptions. the poem moves me not by telling me how to feel, but evoking feelings from the things described. i'm off to read more levine. glen kappy
Chained! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.
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