Instructional Objectives for this activity:
Contrast the experience of reading poetry with listening to poetry.

Important note: In class discussions, express your own ideas and do not use outside sources. Using outside sources can lower your scores, and often they can lead to plagiarism.

  • For this discussion, listen to a discussion and reading of the poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” by Langston Hughes, and read the poem. Complete both parts of the discussion prompt in your response.

Part 1

  • After reading and then listening to the poem by Langston Hughes, write a brief paragraph, describing the difference between reading a poem and hearing it read aloud. For example, how was your experience different in reading the poem versus listening to it? How did you feel when listening to the poem as compared to reading it? Do you feel that you were better able to understand the poem by reading it, or by listening to it?

Part 2

    • After reading the poem and listening to Hughes talk about what inspired him to write the poem, visit some of the websites below about The Harlem Renaissance to learn more about the historical context that influenced Hughes when he wrote the poem. Then, respond to the prompt below in at least one paragraph. (video) (video) (video)

  • In a complete paragraph, reflect on the social and cultural contexts of this period and how they are reflected in Hughes’ poem. Please include details from the information on at least one of the websites above that enriched your understanding of Hughes’ poem and this period. Did your visit to the website affect your experience or understanding of his poem? How, specifically?

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