Still Here by Langston Hughes | Summary and Analysis


The poem Still Here written by Langston Hughes is full of grammatical errors that have been deliberately made probably to challenge the Supremacy of Whites over the language. Langston Hughes, an African-American has suffered discrimination on the basis of his color.

Throughout the ages, Blacks have remained as slaves and have never been considered as humans. This thought has been well reflected in most of the poems of Langston Hughes like in A Dream DeferredThe poem is quite short.

I have divided it into two parts: In the first part, the poet talks about how Blacks (slaves) have been cruelly treated. In the second part, he still is still there to live and will live. This line resembles the final line of his other poem Life is Fine.


Part 1: Discrimination Against Blacks

The poet begins the poem by saying that he has been scared and even punished. (scared and battered). This fear and pain are like a violent wind which has shattered or in other words killed the hope of the Black People.

Here it must be noted that the poet uses “I” which rather represents his whole race. And we also find the deliberate misspelling of the words to challenge the White Supremacy. This is a kind of revolt by the Blacks.

In the next lines, the poet says, Snow has friz me, Sun has baked me. Snow and Sun symbolize two extremes of harshness. According to the poet, the Blacks were frozen or isolated and also beaten up so that they may give up the very hope they had.

Other interpretations of these lines can be as follows. According to the poet, the slaves or the Blacks were made to work in all harsh conditions ranging from chilling cold to burning hot which have made the Blacks to never give up the hope of living.

This in this perspective the poem can also be considered as an inspirational one that encourages us to never give up under all circumstances.

Part 2: Hope to Live

Back to the poem, the poet says that the Whites tried every method to make the slaves give up. In the words of the poet, they done Tried to make me Stop laughin’, stop lovin’, stop livin’. 

The line means that they have tried to make him or the people of his race to stop laughing, loving or just living. But they don’t care and they are still there having the hope and living their life.

Thus the poem’s tone and mood changes in the end. If we analyze the poem as an inspirational one, we can conclude that the poet wants us to keep hope alive because it is the hope that keeps our body alive. You can find discourses about the poem on this site.