Langston Hughes is likely most well-known for his poem “Harlem.” His other works are equally wonderful and diversified. The Voice of the Poet: Langston Hughes is one disc, a super-quick listen, accompanied by a small printed book of his poems.
The audio is Mr. Hughes reading each poem and detailing the inspiration and circumstances surrounding each writing. The recording is actually multiple recordings pieced together, so the quality changes throughout, but it’s worth it to hear the poetry in the author’s own voice. His vocal intonation changes as he glides from poem history into the stanzas, like he’s transformed into the character. It’s delightful.
Listeners learn the happenstance leading Hughes into writing poetry, his influences, and even the strict poetic rhythm of the blues. If “a raisin in the sun” is your only remembrance of Hughes, you should definitely check out this book and listen to his cool, rhythmic stories.