Langston Hughes on a Dream Deferred

“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?”

Langston Hughes

“Harlem” l. 1 (1951)

Excerpted from: Schapiro, Fred, ed. The Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.

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