Langston Hughes’s poem, Harlem, is short yet meaningful that talks about the deferred dream’s fate. Using his poetic intellect, Hughes few words describe how his dream was doomed, leaving him hopeless and disheartened. The writer has explained his emotions in this poem using various poetic tools but based on the description, what rhyme scheme does “Harlem” use? Once you take a closer look at this poem, it becomes clear that the poem does not follow any specific rhythmic pattern. Instead, it expresses the powerful flow of the speaker’s thoughts. However, the first four verses of the poem exhibit end rhyme such as; “meat/sweet” and “run/sun.”

Based on the Descriptions What Rhyme Scheme Does the Poem “Harlem” Use?

“Harlem” by Langston Hughes

Undoubtedly, Harlem exhibits the speaker’s grief over the loss of his dream. However, his expressions and sadness suggest that it was not an ordinary dream; it belonged only to him. Instead, the dream metaphorically represents the struggle of African Americans, who share a dark history. It refers to their battle and fight, which they fought for ages to get equal rights in the world. Being human, they possess equal rights in the world, but they were robbed for generations. The world governed by powerful tycoons not only snatched their rights but also labeled them as inferiors.

However, to remove this bias branding, they bore a hope of equality and justice. They dreamt of becoming one with the world, but their hopes and dreams of gaining equality were shelved. This poem tries to make us imagine that the dream had passed various stages before its decay. The oozing, drying, sagging, and stinking of the dream signify the pain these people tolerated to have a say in the world.


Instead of mentioning it directly, the poem foreshadows the efforts of the blacks in the face of adversity and cruelty. Despite facing prejudice, inhumanity, and savagery, they dared to have hope of a free life. However, instead of recognizing their separate identity, the world deprived them of having positive thoughts.

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