Langston Hughes



      Afro-American Fragment


So long,
So far away
Is Africa.
Not even memories alive
Save those that history books create,
Save those that songs
Beat back into the blood–
Beat out of blood with words sad-sung
In strange un-Negro tongue–
So long,
So far away
Is Africa.

Subdued and time-lost
Are the drums–and yet
Through some vast mist of race
There comes this song
I do not understand,
This song of atavistic land,
Of bitter yearnings lost
Without a place–
So long,
So far away
Is Africa's
Dark face.


Langston Hughes, The Collected Poems of
Langston Hughes, Alfred A. Knopf, 1994.