Full Text of “Dream Deferred” by Langston Hughes

See below the full text of the poem “Dream Deferred” by the African-American poet, Langston Hughes.

Are you familiar with Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun? It is from this poem, Dream Deferred that the title is taken. Check out line 3 below.

Langston Hughes: Dream Deferred

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? 

Quite brief, right? Yes, Dream Deferred is one of those popular poems that are so short but carry a good deal of substance in them.


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