Catch

By Langston Hughes 1902–1967 Langston Hughes
Big Boy came
Carrying a mermaid   
On his shoulders   
And the mermaid   
Had her tail
Curved
Beneath his arm.

Being a fisher boy,
He’d found a fish
To carry—
Half fish,   
Half girl   
To marry.

Langston Hughes, “Catch” from Collected Poems. Copyright © 1994 by The Estate of Langston Hughes. Reprinted with the permission of Harold Ober Associates Incorporated.

Source: Selected Poems (Vintage Books, 1959)

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Poet Langston Hughes 1902–1967

SCHOOL / PERIOD Harlem Renaissance

Subjects Relationships, Men & Women, Mythology & Folklore, Fairy-tales & Legends

 Langston  Hughes

Biography

Langston Hughes was first recognized as an important literary figure during the 1920s, a period known as the "Harlem Renaissance" because of the number of emerging black writers. Du Bose Heyward wrote in the New York Herald Tribune in 1926: "Langston Hughes, although only twenty-four years old, is already conspicuous in the group of Negro intellectuals who are dignifying Harlem with a genuine art life. . . . It is, however, as . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Men & Women, Mythology & Folklore, Fairy-tales & Legends

SCHOOL / PERIOD Harlem Renaissance

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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