Textuality » 3ALS Communication

ICorazza - 3ALS - Hold Fast To Dreams
by ICorazza - (2018-03-04)
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Hold Fast To Dreams


The object of the present text is to provide my personal interpretation of Langston Hughes’ poem Hold Fast To Dreams.

It is not meant to give definitive answers but I am going to try to make some possible conjectures about the message of the poem supported by textual reference.


Considering the title it arouses curiosity in the intelligent reader who ask himself some questions like “ why did the poet use the verb to hold instead of the verb to keep?”, “ why did he says that we have to hold FAST to dreams ?”. Therefore the reader may expect the poem to be about how life could be without dreams. The poet may told about this because he had lost his dreams and he know how the life is if you have not dreams or because he wanted to let people know if you want to live a good life you have to have dreams so they are connect with life.


Looking now at the structure and the lay out it’s clear that the poem is arranged into two stanzas with eight lines each. The first line of both stanzas report the title therefore the reader may expect the poem could be part of a collections.

So I am going to read the poem to find out if my expectations were correct or not and the reason why the poet chose this structure.


Considering the sound level there is a rhyme in the first stanza die-fly and one in the second stanza go-snow which help the reader to link dreams and life.

The long vowels underline a melancholy tone with little light showers of hope.


Moving to the other levels I understand the two stanzas have the same topic: they both talk about dreams and immediately after how is life without dreams.

I consider now the first stanza; in the first two lines the poet used two times the term “ dreams” to emphasise them importance in people’s life.

In line three there is a metaphor where he associated the life with no dreams to a broken-winged bird who is no more able to fly which is the only thing it is born to. This metaphor reinforces my idea that if you have no dreams you can not live because dreams are the life’s foundation, they are what characterize you, what make you reach you goals and what help you to isolate yourself.

Moreover the first line of the second stanza report the first line of the first stanza to stick in the reader mind that it is important do not allow dreams to escape.

Also in line seven there is a metaphor where the poet defined a life without dreams as a barren field which is fruitless to underline the fact that dreams allow you to create the future.

There is also an alliteration of the letter f field-frozen to make more clear the reason why the field is barren.


All things consider I believe the poem gradually answers to my question. The poet used the term “hold” instead of the verb “to keep” because you have to hold dreams forever if you want to do an amazing life.

I understand that dreams are fundamental in human’s life.