The Negro Speaks of Rivers

The Negro Speaks Of Rivers
Langston Hughes

I’ve known rivers:
I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
flow of human blood in human veins.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
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.

I’ve known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

AP Photographer Charlie Riedel just filed the above image of a seabird caught in the oil slick on a beach on Louisiana’s East Grand Terre Island. As BP engineers continue their efforts to cap the underwater flow of oil, landfall is becoming more frequent, and the effects more evident.  BP is trying to cover up the images of the wildlife devastation.

More images here

6 responses to “The Negro Speaks of Rivers

  1. Very powerful.

    Thanks.

  2. Beautiful poem.
    Heart-rending pictures.

    Those overpaid, overstuffed BP executives should be deployed to the Gulf to retrieve and clean wildlife. No exceptions, no exemptions. Clean up the mess they created.

  3. An absolutely heartbreaking photo. I’ve viewed it many times and it’s painful every time.

    Thanks for the Langston Hughes poem. He’s one of my favorites and this beautifully crafted piece is so effective and moving, especially now given our current tragedies.

  4. The photo haunts me and kills my spirit. The things people do…..

  5. I admit it is very hard for me to see these pictures. They are absolutely heart breaking – I am just hoping for a miracle to save the wildlife.

  6. Me too, Cindy. I keep hoping the environmental crews found all of these animals and washed them all down with Dawn then shipped them off to somewhere the water is still clean. But that didn’t happen.

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