Iˇ¦ve loved to talk about this relationship between racial problems and the view of people, how they regard to this kind of relations.
I donˇ¦t know much about Harlem, even though Iˇ¦ve read some information about this place. What I know about it is the period when it was already worn out, whether by any kind of deterioration, or simply, by the place itself. But Iˇ¦ve always believed that it is not the place or the lifeless thing itself that makes changes, it is the living thing that always its outside environment. That was what had happened to Harlem. Such a place of majestic world of societal, cultural, and spiritual world, had been destroyed, lost its natural scent, its adornamental color, its fascinating splendorˇK
It was a deferred dream. Why? It was not ever fulfilled before, but if it ever had a chance, it would be accomplished. It could be something the poet had wished. It is not even hope, but a dream, where the possibility of its attachment wasnˇ¦t even so sureˇKThe Harlem Iˇ¦ve known by now, wasnˇ¦t really the graceful and glorious one, but of a dangerous, mystic, full of horror one. Because of the black. But what had they done to deserve the deferring of their dream!
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Such words uttered on these lines was an becoming expression of the dream that was not started yet, and as a grape, fresh, juicy, sweet and sour had been squeezed and torn outˇK
Or fester like a soreˇX
And then run?
With these words, the dream was left invalid, perhaps, because once things are postponed, we may never find another time to make it. Excuses going on and on, like a never-ending war of racists.
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Why, this ugly place was no longer of luring smell but of disgusting breath.
Or crust and sugar overˇX
like a syrupy sweet?
We usually donˇ¦t find crust and sugar a harmonious combination, a cake or a delicious piece of bread in this case would fit much better than the combination of the above- mentioned. Because this feels like drops of unmatched things, seemingly incomplete, inferring to something that had to be mend, but that we never know if we could mend it back as we wanted it to be or not.
And it is not sweet, although the poet wishes it to be so; however, it is just a dream, and dreams are the most uncertain things that we have, but the one we always afford to have, because having it is a hope to keep on living, thatˇ¦s why the poet kept on writing.
Maybe it just sags
Like a heavy load.
Here the poet is showing some positive attitude of the realization of the dream. Because anyone knows that a load sags, but we can always lift it up! And we can make it out again, as long as persistence never abandons us. However, in the final line, it says:
Or does it explode?
Imagine of a nuclear bomb that explodes, it changes everything, absolutely everything. Could this mean that Harlem has changed completely? If it has exploded everything, the phenomenon our offspring see will be of very different prospective, which could be bad or good. But would you think thatˇ¦ll be good? I really doubted it.
So, what is the dream that weˇ¦ve been discussing about? It is a dream of a black, or of an African-American toward a better America, an America that has no racism, no segregation, only peace of human beings.
Now there is something interesting about this, since weˇ¦ve read another poem about Langston Hughes, ˇ§ The Negro Speaks of Riversˇ¨. If we compare the tones of these two poems, we may find that in the previous poem, the tone was of hoping for a better world, it is of a much positive tone than ˇ§Harlemˇ¨. In ˇ§Harlemˇ¨, it is more of a desperate tone, sounds as if thereˇ¦s not much possibility to ˇ§mend up the wallˇ¨ that has been broken.