Edited by Azizi Powell
This post provides the text and four video collage/recitations of Langston Hughes' poem "Mother To Son". "Mother To Son" is also known as "Life For Me Ain't Been No Crystal Stair". Langston Hughes (February 1, 1902 – May 22, 1967) was an African American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist.
The content of this post is presented for historical, educational, and aesthetic purposes. The copyrights remain with their owners.
My thanks to Langston Hughes for writing this poem. My thanks to the videographers, artists, spoken word artists, and musicians whose work is showcased in these featured videos.
TEXT OF THE POEM
MOTHER TO SON
Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
It's had tacks in it,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I'se been a-climbin' on,
And reachin' landin's,
And turnin' corners,
And sometimes goin' in the dark
Where there ain't been no light.
So, boy, don't you turn back.
Don't you set down on the steps.
'Cause you finds it's kinder hard.
Don't you fall now—
For I'se still goin', honey,
I'se still climbin',
And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
Click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langston_Hughes for information about Langston Hughes.
(These videos are posted in no particular order.)
Video #1: Mother to Son Tone Poem
Uploaded by Aocochlain on Feb 24, 2009
This was a music technology project, based on a poem by Langston Hughes.
Music and film created by Aonghus O Cochlain.
Poem reading by Roberta Enschede.
Video #2: Mother to Son by Langston Hughes: A Poetic Appreciation
Uploaded by honeytapia on Jun 20, 2010
I chose this poem for my English Comp. assignment, without realizing Fathers Day would be the day that I published it for my instructor to view. This poem touched me in a big way, causing me to think of my own son. My son is a father himself now and on this father's day I would like to dedicate this compilation to him. Sam Nimmo, you are one of the best father's I have every known. I love you with all my heart and am proud of you in ways I could never describe. Happy Fathers Day, son. Keep on, keeping on! Love, Mom
Video #3: Mother to Son
Uploaded by GoldenHorn on Jun 13, 2007
[Music: "Naima" by John Coltrane]
Video #4: Mother to Son - Langston Hughes
Uploaded by Jalmgrener on Nov 19, 2009
Here is a narrated poem with music.
In response to a comment in this video's viewer comment thread, the video uploader indicated that "the music was created by myself using a program called Logic Pro".
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