By Langston Hughes 1902–1967 Langston Hughes
I am God—
Without one friend,
Alone in my purity
World without end.

Below me young lovers
Tread the sweet ground—
But I am God—
I cannot come down.

Life is love!
Love is life only!
Better to be human
Than God—and lonely.

Originally appeared in the October 1931 issue of Poetry magazine.

“God” is from The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, edited by Arnold Rampersad with David Roessel, associate editor, © 1994 by the Estate of Langston Hughes, used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. and by permission of Harold Ober Associates in the UK.

Source: Poetry (February 2012).


This poem originally appeared in the February 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

February 2012
 Langston  Hughes


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 Religion, God & the Divine

SCHOOL / PERIOD Harlem Renaissance

Poetic Terms Persona, Rhymed Stanza

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