illustrated portrait of American poet and author Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes

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What is the theme of "In Time of Silver Rain" by Langston Hughes?

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Langston Hughes wrote this poem for his good friend, Lorraine Hansberry, the author of A Raisin in the Sun, when he learned that she had been diagnosed with cancer.  The poem is uplifting and harkens back to the Romanticism era of poetry writing. It is very formal and to the point yet has deeper meaning.  The poem is about rebirth and how when spring arrives, life is renewed.  The poem is inspirational suggesting that there is life after death just like after the dead of winter comes the birth of spring.  It seems to be a hopeful poem encouraging Hansberry to embrace life when Hughes writes, “The wonder spreads . . . Of Life, Of Life, Of Life.”

This inspiring poem suggests that Hughes is attempting to lift Hansberry’s spirits to enjoy life for as long as she can.  It can also suggest that life goes on like the coming of spring each year.

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Have you read the poem?  If not, I recommend it; it is very short and easy to understand.  I have provided a link to it below, and encourage you to read it for yourself if you haven't already.

The main theme of this poem is springtime.  It is how in the spring, the earth is given new life.  New grass, flowers, birds, and new growth and beauty are all around.  Hughes states that "earth puts forth new life again," and that all of the new growth-the trees, grass, birds-seem to shout "Of life, of life,  of life!"  Even people are impacted by nature's rebirth; "passing boys and girls go singing too," and everyone is happier and filled with rejuvenation and hope.

I hope that those thoughts help a bit; take a look at the poem itself too.  Good luck!

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