50-50

By Langston Hughes 1902–1967 Langston Hughes
I’m all alone in this world, she said,   
Ain’t got nobody to share my bed,   
Ain’t got nobody to hold my hand—
The truth of the matter’s
I ain’t got no man.

Big Boy opened his mouth and said,   
Trouble with you is
You ain’t got no head!
If you had a head and used your mind   
You could have me with you
All the time.

She answered, Babe, what must I do?

He said, Share your bed—
And your money, too.

Langston Hughes, “50-50” 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 Living, Social Commentaries, Marriage & Companionship, Relationships, Money & Economics, Men & Women

 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 Living, Social Commentaries, Marriage & Companionship, Relationships, Money & Economics, Men & Women

SCHOOL / PERIOD Harlem Renaissance

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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