“Snail” by Langston Hughes as an Inspiration Source

Introduction

Poetry is one of the best ways of expressing one’s feelings and emotions, as well as understanding those of others. From ancient times, poets wrote about love and hatred, friendship and rivalry, life and death, and many other topics. Unlike prose, poetry does not relish the opportunity to use a large number of words. Hence, it is the art of articulating great ideas in short pieces of writing. For me, poetry has always been the most touching form of literary art with the help of which one can touch the strings of people’s souls.

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Inspiration Piece

Snail” by Langston Hughes

Little snail,
Dreaming you go.
Weather and rose
Is all you know.
Weather and rose
Is all you see,
Drinking
The dewdrop’s
Mystery (Hughes, n.d.).

It may seem like a childish poem, but for me, there is much hidden context behind these short lines. Langston Hughes, one of the most famous African American poets and writers, was one of the key personalities of the Harlem Renaissance (“Langston Hughes biography,” 2019). He created many works, but he was most famous for his poetry. Hughes published several volumes of poems and won prestigious awards for some of them. He was also one of the first authors to employ dialect and jazz rhythms to show the lives of urban African Americans in his poetry (“Langston Hughes biography,” 2019). There is no definite date of publication of the poem “Snail,” but it is known that it was written between 1941 and 1950 (Rampersad, 2001). The piece belongs to the “Fields of Wonder” collection (Rampersad, 2001). The poem is devoted to a small and seemingly insignificant creature, but the snail is depicted with so much tenderness and warmth that the piece immediately creates a picture of some dreamy pasture where the time has stopped, and to which the troubles cannot find their way.

My Art Piece

A Sunny Morning”

I woke up early just to catch
the glorious morning sun,
and suddenly I saw that I
was not the only one:
a tiny snail sat there on grass;
he seemed to smile at me,
and in that smile, I saw a clue
to a great mystery.
Yes, he is slow, his life is short,
he doesn’t travel far,
but all he sees is beautiful,
his spirit is ajar.
He manages to see the dew
and touch the silky grass,
he seems to be so carefree:
probably more than us.

My poem was inspired by my love for nature and the desire to inspire others to notice it. I frequently wake up early to catch a glimpse of the sunrise and, if I am lucky enough, to take a photo of some creatures. One morning, I managed to capture an image of a beautiful small snail crawling slowly on a blade of grass. The image was so bright and optimistic that I remembered Hughes’ poem at once.

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Connection

The two pieces have much in common, starting with the theme and ending with the general atmosphere of each. The first similarity is that both poems are written about a snail. The second analogy refers to nature as the main character’s habitat. However, Hughes’ poem depicts the snail as a somehow limited creature that has few options in life. My piece, in its turn, is more life-affirming. Hughes views “weather and rose” as limitations to the snail’s life (l. 3-4). However, I consider that weather, roses, grass, and other simple things are, in fact, quite rich in their spirit, and having them is like owning the whole world. I think that the medium – poetry – impacts the audience’s experiences since the people can imagine the things and settings they are reading about and can “visit” the places described.

Connection

References

Hughes, L. (n.d.). Snail. Web.

Langston Hughes biography. (2019). Web.

Rampersad, A. (Ed.). (2001). The collected works of Langston Hughes. (Vol. 2). Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "“Snail” by Langston Hughes as an Inspiration Source." June 12, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/snail-by-langston-hughes-as-an-inspiration-source/.

References

StudyCorgi. (2021) '“Snail” by Langston Hughes as an Inspiration Source'. 12 June.

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