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,
Bright like a sun—
My dream.
And then the wall rose,
Rose slowly,
Slowly,
Between me and my dream.
Rose until it touched the sky—
The wall.
Shadow.
I am black.
I lie down in the shadow.
No longer the light of my dream before me,
Above me.
Only the thick wall.
Only the shadow.
My hands!
My dark hands!
Break through the wall!
Find my dream!
Help me to shatter this darkness,
To smash this night,
To break this shadow
Into a thousand lights of sun,
Into a thousand whirling dreams
Of sun!

by Langston Hughes

Other poems of HUGHES (103)

Comments (4)

Im thinking that when he see a shadow he sees himself or attempting to find himself.
I'm not sure though if he changes himself for his lovers, and that the shadow means the shadow of himself, or if he changes himself for the world and can only be himself, natural like his shadow, around his lovers.
I agree with you cody. I think the poem focuses on himself and who he is. It is like he questions himself constantly when he is around his 'lovers', its like he changes for them ya know?
To me, he's saying how the Shadow is his real self, and that only with his 'lovers' and while singing can he truly be himself. Whitman getting in touch with his inner show girl.