When transition stanza, which lead us to feel the

When Hughes published this poem he was only 19
years old. In Hughes’s poem, river symbolizes the history of black people. He
wants to express that black people have their own history, they’ve contributing
to the human society as mush as races have doing. This poem does not directly
call for a fight, but it is an inspiration and encouragement to awaken black
people. He was others to increase their self-confidence and dignity, and that
is exactly what is needed for the fight.            “I’ve
known rivers: /I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the/ flow
of human blood in human veins.” “I” doesn’t stand for poet himself but stand
for the whole race of black people. In this stanza, Hughes repeatedly
emphasizes black people’s testimony of “the river”, the history, and
figuratively states that this “river” is “ancient as the world” and even older
than human blood.  “My soul has grown
deep like the rivers.” It is a transition stanza, which lead us to feel the “rivers”
more deeply. In another word, how black people’s “souls grown deep like rivers.”            “I
bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.” The Euphrates River is one of
the cradles of ancient civilization where brilliant civilizations were born. “I
built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep. / I built my hut near
the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.” The Congo River is the largest river in Africa and
the Nile is the longest river in the world. The Nile Valley was also cultivated
an ancient civilization. “I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe
Lincoln /went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy /bosom turn all
golden in the sunset.” The Mississippi is the largest river in North America.

When Lincoln served as president of the United States, he abolished slavery and
freed the black slaves in the United States. Hughes used exaggeration to review
history. There is always an unforgettable river to me across the three
continents of Asia, Africa and the United States, from ancient times to the
present. The fourth stanza “I’ve known rivers: /Ancient, dusky
rivers” is similar to the first stanza, but shore and more concise. “dusky
river” can be considered metaphor of black history. The last stanza “My
soul has grown deep like the rivers.” is a repetition of the second stanza.

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Poet intended to emphasized the theme. Black race witnessed the history of
human development. Black people’s “souls” hold the human civilization.

It is the accumulation of history and it appears “deep.”

poem is a solemn declaration that despite such discrimination and persecution,
we have a deep soul like a river, because we are not conquered and can not be


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