Dinner Guest: Me

Poem By Langston Hughes

I know I am
The Negro Problem
Being wined and dined,
Answering the usual questions
That come to white mind
Which seeks demurely
To Probe in polite way
The why and wherewithal
Of darkness U.S.A.--
Wondering how things got this way
In current democratic night,
Murmuring gently
Over fraises du bois,
"I'm so ashamed of being white."

The lobster is delicious,
The wine divine,
And center of attention
At the damask table, mine.
To be a Problem on
Park Avenue at eight
Is not so bad.
Solutions to the Problem,
Of course, wait.

Comments about Dinner Guest: Me

harder daddy ;) i want it all inside daddy
Yes papi yes papi yes papi yes papi
Yes yes yes yes yes yes I do not understand
The problem is within the white....so they suffer...not the negronegros...welspoken...
I think some of the comments here presume Hughes excepts the idea of a Negro propblem, begging the question what it is, who decides what is (if there isn't rather a white man problem) etc. That he has a more ironic critical position to the pseudo-ethical dinnertime debates of white New York lies in the opening lines I know I am the Negro Problem, which if taken plainly would be absurd.


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Other poems of HUGHES

Dreams

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

As I Grew Older

It was a long time ago.
I have almost forgotten my dream.
But it was there then,
In front of me,

Mother To Son

Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
It's had tacks in it,
And splinters,

Dream Deferred

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--

Cross

My old man's a white old man
And my old mother's black.
If ever I cursed my white old man
I take my curses back.

I, Too

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen