I ask you to help the gods to make me good, and to make me clean, make me strong and fine that I might stand aflame before my people, powerful and wise, with eyes that can discern the ways of truth. I am nothing now — no more than a body of dust without wisdom, having no right to see. Physically and spiritually I pass through the dark valley, a dryness in my throat, a weariness in my eyes, fingers twisted in to strange numb shapes when I wake up at night, the mind troubled in the face of things it does not understand, the mouth silent because there is no one to talk to, the sweet air burning the lungs, the hot sun cold to the body.
“Ten Prepositions on Langston”
Dr. Elizabeth Alexander
Friday, November 10th, 7:30 p.m.
Remembering Langston Hughes: His Art, Life, and Legacy Fifty Years Later is a local and national forum on Langston Hughes.
Since his death in May 1967, his art, particularly his poetry, has been invoked to articulate both some of the nation’s loftiest hopes and its deepest fears. The forum, jointly sponsored by several Princeton University academic departments, takes place over two days, November 10th and 11th, at Princeton University.
Conference organizer Wallace Best writes, “Langston Hughes has long shaped people’s understanding of themselves and of the United States more broadly. His powerful written works have provided insight into our painful past and hope for a future beyond the ills that have plagued our society. He was the ‘Bard of Harlem’ and he remains America’s Bard.”
The conference has now passed.
Read: Princeton conference celebrates Langston Hughes, poet and ‘Champion of black America’
All additional video from the conference will soon be posted at events.aas.princeton.edu.