Everything you need to understand or teach The Negro Speaks of Rivers by Langston Hughes.
"The Negro Speaks of Rivers" is written from the first-person perspective, or the viewpoint of the main character of the poem. The protagonist and narrator is described only by the term "Negro" in the title. The entire work consists of a mere thirteen lines of free verse. Although it does not employ a set rhyme scheme or stanza pattern, the poem does feature parallel structure within several lines as well as two simple phrases that act as a refrain, or a repeated section similar to a chorus in a song. The poem begins with a simple declaration—"I've known rivers"—that implies the narrator's experience and wisdom.
The narrator elaborates on this depth of knowledge in the next lines, noting that he has known rivers "older than the flow of human blood in human veins." This comparison ties humanity to the oldest parts of nature and suggests that the flow human... View more of the The Negro Speaks of Rivers Summary