Poetry ended up being my enthusiasm after I fell in love v Walter de la Mare's "Silver" in Mrs. Edna Pickett's sophomore English course circa 1962.

You are watching: Life is fine by langston hughes meaning


*

Introduction and also Excerpt from “Life is Fine"

Langston Hughes' "Life is Fine" plays out in 6 stanzas v a variable refrain adhering to each 2 stanzas. The design template of this poem/blues tune is a lover's lament, one of Hughes' finer works


Life is Fine

I went down to the river, I set down ~ above the bank. Ns tried come think yet couldn’t, So i jumped in and sank.

I come up once and hollered! I came up twice and cried! If the water hadn’t a-been for this reason cold i might’ve sunk and died.

But it was Cold in that water! It to be cold!. . .

To read the rest of Langston Hughes’ poem, please visit, “Life is Fine,” at the Academy that American Poets.

Reading of "Life is Fine"


Commentary

This poem has the sound and sense the a rhythm and blues song, a type that the Harlem Renaissance poet offered often and well.

First Stanza: drowned Attempt

I went down to the river, I set down top top the bank. I tried to think yet couldn’t, So ns jumped in and also sank.

The an initial stanza dramatizes the speaker/singer's attempt to commit self-destruction by drowning. ~ going "down come the river," the speaker sits under to think things over. He finds the he cannot think, for this reason he abruptly jumps into the river.

Second Stanza: saved by Cold

I come up once and also hollered! I come up twice and cried! If the water hadn’t a-been for this reason cold ns might’ve sunk and also died.


In the second stanza, the speaker dramatizes the notion that a drowning human comes up 3 times prior to sinking permanently beneath the water. He says that the first time he come up, he "hollered!" that does not report what the vocalized no one to whom he could have been "hollering."

The speaker/singer continues to the second time he came up, and also that time that "cried!" he is growing more urgent in his ache condition. Yet instead of sinking a 3rd time, the speaker jumps out of the water for the strange factor that the water to be so cold. His dedication to self-destruction is shackles by the discomfort of having to experience the cold water.


First Refrain: Comedy Drama

But it was Cold in that water! It was cold!

The surprising rotate of events is emphasized by the next line, i beg your pardon serves as a refrain, and also at this point, the leader becomes mindful of the comic effect that the speak is infusing right into his drama.

The speaker/singer repeats the reality that the water was cold. The cold water has actually end up being his best friend at that moment by saving him indigenous drowning. The hops the end of the river, not since he want to live yet simply because he could not bear the discomfort of the cold water.

Third Stanza: an additional Suicide Attempt

I take it the elevator sixteen floors over the ground. I thought around my baby and also thought I would jump down.


The speaker/singer proceeds his find for a comfortable an approach of suicide. The takes an elevator up the 16th floor that a tall building. That remembers that he is there because his girl jilted him, and he intends to kill himself by jumping indigenous the sixteenth floor that the building.

Fourth Stanza: conserved by Height

I stand there and also I hollered! ns stood there and also I cried! If it hadn’t a-been so high i might’ve jumped and also died.

See more: In A Microsoft Access Database The Gettysburg Address, Cs 11 Flashcards

Again, the same structure of mind claims him, and just as he had done in the cold flow water, that stands there "holler" and "cry." This time the friend the keeps that from ending his life is the truth that the building is "so high."

Second Refrain: high Building

But it was High increase there! It was high!

Once again, the refrain emphasizes the problem with jumping off the building. It was high. The speaker can not endure the cold, and also now that cannot suffer the height.

Fifth Stanza: Born come Live

So because I’m still right here livin’, ns guess I will certainly live on. Ns could’ve passed away for love— however for livin’ i was born