The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes, Author, Arnold Rampersad, Editor, David E. Roessel, Editor Knopf Publishing Group $45 (736p) ISBN 978-0-679-42631-8
At last Hughes has gotten his first collected edition; it is overdue. The editors have attempted to collect every poem (860 in all) published by the writer in his lifetime, and have also provided a brief but informative introduction, a detailed chronology and extensive textual notes that include the original date and place of publication for each poem. In fact, this edition corrects the many errors and omissions of the standard Hughes bibliography, and the editors plan to update the text as more unpublished work surfaces. Although Hughes is best known for his poems celebrating African African life, he was also a passionately political poet who paid dearly for his communist affiliations and radical views. The chronological arrangement of the poems allows the reader to follow the course of Hughes's career-long political engagement, though probably Hughes will mainly be read for the clarity of his language, his wise humor and his insight into the human condition. BOMC selection. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/14/1994
Release date: 11/01/1994
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