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Langston Hughes poem in Out of the Ashes


Someone just emailed me about the Langston Hughes poem that was featured in "Out of the Ashes" episode and I ended up finding the entire poem online. I thought it was an interesting choice for a poem for Edgar to have memorized and wondered if Egan selected it or perhaps Malcolm had some influence in it.

Do you think it had a particular significance in the episode or was it just handy to use? I suspect it is more of the former since the poem does talk about having to postpone one’s desires which can be detrimental and that does seem to echo Edgar's predicament.

Anyway, since it is posted online I figured it would be okay to repost it here for other people to reference and comment on.

<font color="orange">A Dream Deferred
by Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore-
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over-
Like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
Like a heavy load.

Or does it explode? </font color>
When I was in 9th grade my class read the play, A Raisin in the Sun, which has that poem in the beginning of it. I wrote a short easy on the relation between the poem and the play.

In 10th Grade I had to memorize a short poem, so I chose that one, because its easy to remember.

In 11th Grade my English class had to do a project on interpreting poetry, and again I chose this poem!
Um, you're talking to a former English major.

I take it as foreshadowing. Our heroes have a dream, a vision about what the world could be -- but it has been deferred by inaction for so long, and now Valhalla Sector is involved.

So, what will happen to the world now that TM seems to be out of the picture?

Will it explode?

Oooh, I didn't even consider it forshadowing in the arc as a whole. I only was thinking in that episode but now that you mention it ... it fits.

I am not familiar with the poem and only guessed what it's meaning was so I am glad others can weigh in on it with more expertise.

Now I wonder if JMS wanted that particular poem mentioned even though he didn't write the episode. I almost posted my original post in RASTB5M but then realized he wasn't the author!
though deferring the dream may have been the result of inaction, the motivation surely was protecting that dream, making it grow strong to survive when exposed to the world, part of which may not be ready for that dream.

what would happen to the world if VS won? that's for sure: it wouldn't stink - consider the fresh, new, clean underwear! ;)

if that dream -embodied by Thunder Mountain- explodes, then only because Valhalla Sector put an explosive charge under Noah's ass. ugh.

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