Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What Do We Do With Our Dreams?

My apologies for the format of the following text - I'm certain it won't reproduce properly. Rather than following up with my own words, I'm going to use the poet Langston Hughes' words from "A Dream Deferred" (also named "Harlem"):

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?


Charles Gramlich said...

Hughes was a very fine poet.

Heather said...

I think we lose our dreams if we don't follow them. They do explode.

Steve Buchheit said...

Have to agree that they explode. Then you live the rest of your live with these huge craters in your psyche, they throb with the change in weather. This is why anybody should avoid deferring dreams.

John Goodrich said...

I think that many more dreams have died a quiet, stifled death than have exploded. But the ones that go off messily are the ones that get noticed.

Jeff Edwards said...

Sometimes -- maybe rarely -- a dream deferred has a chance to grow in strength before triumphing. At least, that is my hope.


William Jones said...

As you can tell, the poem I posted doesn't really offer answers so much as it keeps asking questions. I guess the unasked question that I'd add to the mix is: why would someone defer a dream? I've known many people who have done so, and for valid reasons, some for not so valid reasons. And I know a few people who seemingly had the wrong dream - after the dream "arrived," it wasn't wanted.

Sometimes its worth stopping to refocus on those dreams. I suspect most get deferred - it's the nature of dreams in a society I fear.