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mother to son

Monday, June 17, 2013


Monday, June 17, 2013


Hello, I  am  Sammy  Westfall.     This  is  a  book  is  a  poem  by  Langston  Hughes  called  “Mother  to  Son.”  It  is  a  poem  about  how  a   how  life  is  not  going  to  be  perfect.  You  are  going  to  have  to  go  through  struggles  and   troubles.  You  will  have  to  overcome  obstacles  because  life  is  not  supposed  to  go  smoothly.   The  poem  is  written  like  the  mother  is  saying  this  advice  directly  to  her  son.  This  makes  us,  the   readers,  feel  like  we  are  receiving  the  advice  ourselves  and  that  is  a  really  nice  feeling.    It   makes  us  relate  to  the  poem  more  and  think  about  the  times  when  our  own  mothers  told  us   things  about  life.    Has  your  mother  ever  given  you  speeches  about  how  life  is  and  will  be?  This   is  exactly  what  this  poem  is  trying  to  make  us  feel.   The  writer  of  the  poem,  Langston  Hughes,  uses  imagery*  to  describe  the  poem  to  us.  He   describes  that  life  is  going  to  be  a  more    of  a  “bare  and  dark”  staircase  instead  of  a  “crystal   staircase.”  One  good  thing  about  his  poem  is  that  he  doesn’t  use  long  words  to  describe   things-­‐  he  doesn’t  have  to!  We,  the  readers,  can  imagine  the  staircase  just  as  well-­‐if  not  better-­‐   with  simple  words  that  we  can  understand  easily! I  divided  the  poem  into  different  parts  and  painted  some  pictures  for  each  one.  I  used   watercolors  to  paint  them.  I  tried  painting  different  things  that  just  a  staircase  over  and  over,   so  that  the  book  would  not  be  so  repetitive.   I  hope  you  like  it!

Sammy W *Imagery- vivid descriptive language that appeals to one or more of the senses

Monday, June 17, 2013


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Monday, June 17, 2013


Well, son, I'll tell you: Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.

Monday, June 17, 2013


Monday, June 17, 2013


It's had tacks in it, And splinters, And boards torn up, And places with no carpet on the floor— Bare.

Monday, June 17, 2013


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Monday, June 17, 2013


But all the time I'se been a-climbin' on, And reachin' landin's, And turnin' corners, And sometimes goin' in the dark Where there ain't been no light

Monday, June 17, 2013


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Monday, June 17, 2013


So, boy, don't you turn back. Don't you set down on the steps. 'Cause you finds it's kinder hard. Don't you fall now—

Monday, June 17, 2013


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Monday, June 17, 2013


For I'se still goin', honey, I'se still climbin',

Monday, June 17, 2013


I

Monday, June 17, 2013


And life for me ain't been no crystal stair

Monday, June 17, 2013


Monday, June 17, 2013


Analyses

Monday, June 17, 2013


Painting Analysis This poem  was  really  interesting  to  illustrate.  Most  of  the  poem  is  a  description  of  ta  staircase-­‐  which   represents  life.  Of  course,  life  is  not  actually  a  staircase,  so  I  had  to  imagine  what  it  would  look  like  in  my   head.  The  cover  is  really  simple  and  I  like  it  like  that.  I  only  used  one  shade  of  the  same  color  clue  so  I   thought  that  would  keep  the  attention  at  the  poem  mostly.  I  thought  that  blue  would  ?it  because  it  is  a   really  calm  color  and  I  thought  that  was  what  a  crystal  staircase  is  supposed  to  be  like.     The  ?irst  page  is  a  mother  talking  to  her  son.  I  decided  to  paint  their  pro?iles  separated  by  abstract   lines.  I  thought  this  line  sort  of  represented  how  they  are  connected  and  maybe  even  give  the   impression  of  speaking.       Next,  I  tried  to  draw  the  opposite  of  a  crystal  staircase-­‐  one  with  cracks,  thorns,  and  tacks.  I  also   added  some  ghostly  ?igures  to  represent  the  troubles  we  will  face  in  life,  because  I  did  not  want  to   literally  draw  the  troubles.     For  the  next  picture,  I  illustrated  “And  sometimes  goin’  in  the  dark/  Where  there  ain’t  been  no  light.”   I  did  this  by  simply  drawing  a  plain,  black  shape.  I  think  this  kept  it  straightforward  and  did  not  take   away  from  the  poem.    In  the  next   Here,  I  drew  that  same  boy,  older,  but  falling  down.  From  the  line  “Don’t  you  fall  now.”  This  is  less  of   a  reality  and  more  of  a  warning  picture.  This  is  to  show  that  though  he  may  fall,  should  not  give  up.       This  is  my  favorite  picture  in  the  book,  maybe  in  all  of  the  picture.  It  shows  the  hand  of  the  mother   reaching  out  to  the  kid.  It  is  sort  of  a  continuation  of  the  last  picture.  It  is  true,  nothing  like  this  happens   in  the  poem.  Also,  it  does  not  even  really  match  the  words  in  the  poem  that  it  corresponds  with.  But  I   think  that  it  ?its,  because  it  shows  the  mother  helping  the  boy  back  onto  the  staircase-­‐  just  like  she  is   helping  him  with  life  by  sharing  this  advice.   This  last  picture,  I  think,  is  a  nice  little  ending  that  just  shows  the  crystal  staircase  for  the  ?irst  time   since  the  cover.  It  is  again,  really  simple  and  I  like  it  like  that.   Overall  it  was  really  nice  to  paint  this  poem,  though  it  was  hard  to  get  the  staircase  drawings  look   good  at  the  beginning.  I  think  this  is  my  favorite  poem  of  the  collection,  and  hope  that  I  did  it  justice. Monday, June 17, 2013


Poem Analysis Mother to  Son”  by  Langston  Hughes  is  a  very  relatable  poem  for  people  all  over.  It  is  written  in  the  point  of  view  of   Hughes’  mother.  She  is  giving  him  advice  about  life  as  if  she  were  talking  directly  to  him.  She  metaphorically  tells   him  about  life-­‐  comparing  it  to  a  staircase.  She  uses  this  metaphor  to  tell  him  how  life  is  going  to  be  a  perfect  stroll  in   the  park.  It  is  not  meant  to  be  easy  and  fair.  In  fact,  it  may  even  just  be  the  opposite.  It  is  going  to  be  a  challenge   where  you  will  have  to  overcome  struggles  and  face  your  fears.  “It's  had  tacks  in  it,/  And  splinters,/  And  boards  torn   up,/  And  places  with  no  carpet  on  the  ?loor”  But  though  it  is  hard-­‐  you  are  going  to  have  to  keep  on  going  and  not   give  up-­‐  just  as  she  has.  After  all  of  this  time,  she  has  not  given  up  and  even  to  this  day-­‐  she  is  still  climbing.  Langston   is  passing  on  the  lesson  to  us,  the  readers-­‐  just  as  his  mother  has.                                    Hughes  incorporates  many  different  poetry  techniques  in  his  poem  such  as  imagery,  metaphor,  and   emphasis.  He  uses  emphasis  especially  in  the  following  line.  “And  places  with  no  carpet  on  the  ?loor—  /  Bare.”  He   gives  the  word  “Bare”  its  own  line  in  the  stanza  and  it  follows  a  dash  for  even  more  emphasis.  When  reading  this   poem  out  loud,  you  are  forced  to  take  a  long  pause  before  saying  the  word  “bare.”  This  really  makes  the  staircase   feel  empty  and  shows  his  theme  and  message  more  clearly-­‐  that  life  is  not  going  to  be  a  “crystal  staircase”.  He  also   uses  a  lot  of  imagery.  I  can  imagine  this  perfect,  glassy  crystal  staircase  and  also  a  twisty,  dark,  broken,  creaky   staircase  in  my  head.  He  has  really  good  word  choice  to  create  this  imagery-­‐  though  he  does  it  in  a  very  interesting   way.  Instead  of  using  long,  complicated,  descriptive  words  to  create  this  imagery,  he  just  uses  simple  words  that  we   can  easily  relate  to  and  create  pictures  of  like  “bare”  and  “dark”.  He  uses  really  unostentatious  words  that  are  not   meant  to  sound  pretentious  and  showy.  He  makes  it  really  relatable  as  well,  by  starting  with  the  lines  “Well  son,  let   me  tell  you”  as  if  he  is  telling  us  the  lesson.  Also,  how  the  lines  “And  sometimes  goin  in  the  dark/  Where  there  ain’t   been  no  light”  makes  it  seem  informal  and  casual  so  we  really  feel  like  the  audience  of  the  poem  and  think  of  lessons   from  our  own  mothers.  This  makes  us  really  feel  like  the  poem  was  made  for  us.

Monday, June 17, 2013


Monday, June 17, 2013


Monday, June 17, 2013

Mother to Son  

Poem by Langston Hughes Illustrated by Sammy Westfall

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