Raisins in the Pudding

I am repeating this post as my humble contribution to Black History Month. Enjoy, Beautiful People!


Over forty years ago, as I landed in the U.S., I came across a short poem and was stunned by the powerful images:

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

Written by Langston Hughes, one of the prominent leaders and moving forces of Harlem Renaissance but a total unknown in communist Russia, where I came from, it hit me with a surge of emotion I wasn’t even able to understand at that time.

Next came the play by Lorraine Hansberry, whose title was taken from Hughes’ poem, A Raisin in the Sun. It was the first in many ways: the first play written by a black…

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18 Comments Add yours

  1. Very compelling post! Thank you for the reminder of the Langston Hughes poem. It’s funny, as I read this, I’m waiting for my rum raisin oatmeal bread to rise! Must be something in the stars today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you s much for a wonderful comment, dear Dorothy!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. SAM VOELKER says:

    That says so much about a subject that we tend not to think about enough, and your additional comments helps us to consider more about it. Thanks Dolly~! Sometime the stink is not noticed until it is too late.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so right, Sam! Thank you for your thoughtful comment.


  3. Rohvannyn says:

    I recall when I first read this poem – high school, I think. I didn’t really get it. 25 years later I think I understand it better too. It makes me think also of dreams – are they hopes? Aspirations? Fond wishes for better things? Does a dream perhaps transform into something darker over time, or more arid and cold, or does it fade away leaving nothing but a sad aftertaste of a forgotten ambition? I have a dream, which I hope not to be deferred, of a time and place (not so far away) where we can all meet as people and appreciate each other no matter what we look like. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I share your wonderful dream, dear friend. I believe dream transform real experiences, mixed with hopes and fears, into hints of the future. Yet it is in our power to mold the future into something positive that turns our hopes into reality, rather than brings fears to life.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. lghiggins says:

    Such vivid imagery!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for stopping by, dear LInda.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well worth reposting

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Derrick. I am amazed that you remember my silly posts.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I do remember them, but check to make sure 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I truly appreciate your interest in my humble posts, Derrick.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The feeling is mutual

        Liked by 1 person

  6. The only problem here is that we don’t end up with leftover bread, the appetites don’t allow for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL How about baking a loaf just for that purpose, dear Mimi?


  7. A great poem, with so many images in it. Thank you for sharing, Dolly! By the way, it took time to understand the difference in the meaning of pudding here and in the rest of the world. Here its ready made to mix with milk, and cook up for some minutes. 😉 Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had to make the same cultural adjustment with regards to puddings, Michael. Curiously, everybody thinks of bread puddings as being a British invention transplanted to America, but they actually originated with a French chef in Russia.
      Thank you for stopping by, dear friend!

      Liked by 1 person

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