The collected poems of Langston Hughes (Book Review)

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  • Source:
    New Republic; March 6 1995, Vol. 212, p37-37, 1p
  • Document Type:
    Book Review
  • Additional Information
    • Review Authors:
      Vendler, Helen
    • Review Information:
      Title: The collected poems of Langston Hughes
      Excerpt: "The Poems completes Rampersad's long service to Hughes's memory. Rampersad's earlier splendid two-volume biography of Hughes virtually necessitated a coherent collection of the poetry. What is missing in the chronologically arranged Poems, however, is a listing of the table of contents of each of the separate volumes of Hughes's poetry as it was issued. . . . I hope that subsequent editions of the Poems will include this indispensable information. . . . {Hughes} is not a major poet, but he is a fascinating, original and disturbing one. . . . Hughes's poetics is a poetics of the common tongue. Most of his poems are accessible to anyone who can read. . . . {Yet} for all their apparent 'simplicity,' they bear rereading. It is a rare one, among his better poems, that does not carry a scorpion sting in its tail or a spiritual insight in its epigrammatic close."
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