Monday, February 27, 2017

Month 7 Week 2

Image result for poem analysis

Poetic Elements

Read through the poem "Luck is not chance" by Emily Dickinson and the analysis of the poetic elements provided. When a writer uses personification, it is usually to make an abstract or difficult concept more relatable and more understandable. Discuss the poetic elements in Lnagston Hughes' poem "Mother to Son".

Mother to Son

Related Poem Content Details

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
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.
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—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.


  1. I believe the father is trying to comfort his son, by telling him that his life isn’t perfect either. This is a good way to comfort someone. this is because then they know that you have, or still suffer through what he’s suffering through. The father in the poem seems to be a wonderful father, and he seems to respect and love his son. Something some people don’t have.

    1. Christian, the Poem title is Mother to Son, I think you may have missed something when you read the poem.

  2. There are several poetic elements in "Mother to Son" by Langston Hughes. The speaker in the poem is a mother who is giving advice to her son. She has courageously faced life's challenges and hopes to inspire her son to do the same. Huges opens his poem by presenting a comparison between the mother's life and the treacherous staircase in order to show that her life has not been easy and perfect. The mother addresses her son, "Well, son, I'll tell you Life for me ain't been no crystal stair." Her life was full of challenges and difficulties which is demonstrated by "it had tacks in it, And splinters." The use of extended metaphors comparing the mother's life to a staircase continues throughout the poem, with the repetition of the line, "Life form me ain't been no crystal stair." Huges also uses imagery in the poem by using words such as "tacks' and splinters". Figurative language is evident in the poem with the use of metaphors such as the stairs being compared to life. There is also a repetition of consonance in the "n" sound, "climbin", "reachin", "landin", "turnin", and "goin". This give you the idea that the mother is not well educated and may, perhaps, be poor.

    1. Jessica,

      I had noticed the -ing words ending in -in', as well, but I described them only as dialect choices that help to define the character as less educated. Additionally, though I had not thought of it at the time, I definitely agree with your comment that these words are great examples of consonance with the "n" sound! They're practically everywhere in the poem, and the author is incredibly consistent with their use. I loved your thoughts!!

      Your peer,
      Kelly :)

    2. Jessica,
      I loved how you pointed out all the imagery in this poem.


  3. The poem is a mother talking to her son, telling him not to give up when things get hard.

  4. In "Mother to Son", I believe that the speaker, who is the mother, is giving advice to her son and telling him that when things get hard, don't give up. The mother hints that her life has certainly not been easy. She wants her son to know that through her life challenges, she never gave up and she wants her son to do the same.

  5. In the poem “mother to son” by Langston Hughes, the mother starts telling her son the story of her life. She explains to her son that she too has had struggles and has suffered. She shows that even when something is hard you can’t give up. She tells her son that she hasn’t given up and keeps going and that he needs to do the same through his life. She says in the second and last line “life for me ain’t been no crystal stair”. In this phrase she is comparing how her life to a crystal staircase which is beautiful to climb. In the next few lines she gives examples of things that are disliked comparing them to how her life has been: tacks, splinters, torn up boards and places with no carpet on the floor. Then, the mother starts telling that she struggled but kept going giving examples of movement that people give up on but they shouldn’t such as; climbing, reaching, landing, turning corners, and being in the dark with no light. The mother is “still climbin’,” even though she is older now. She still climbs even if life for her is “no crystal stair”. The tone is a bit sad because of the struggles that she went through but it is also very happy because it shows her strength and determination to not give up. In my opinion, Hughes probably wrote this story about his mother. She was an African American who cared for her son really well though she was not super educated.

  6. The poem "Mother to Son", In my opinion, the speaker who could possibly be the mother is telling her son the life is not perfect. The mother is telling her son to never give up no matter how hard life may become.

  7. There are multiple poetic elements in "Mother to Son" by Langston Hughes. The title itself prepares the reader and indicates the speaker and its subject. The speaker in the poem is the mother, who is encouraging her son to continue to persevere through life's challenges. The repetition of "Life for me ain't been no crystal stair" clearly shows the metaphor between life and the opposite of a crystal stair: possibly a downward spiral, a treacherous staircase down the basement, or even a broken elevator (Hughes). Furthermore, the mother's life was full of challenges and difficulties, which can be compared to "tacks" and "splinters" by way of metaphor (Hughes). Dialect and diction is also demonstrated in the consonance-repetition of the “n” sound: “climbin,” “reachin,” “landin,” “turnin,” “goin" (Hughes). This type of dialect reminds me of a Southern diction. These poetic elements contribute to the theme: the mother has endured many hardships, and she wants her son to overcome them as well.

  8. NOTE: apologies for posting so late on this one. Last week was very busy, as I'm sure most of you noticed. I'll continue trying to post earlier henceforth. :)

    In Langston Hughes' above poem, vivid metaphors are used abundantly to convey the message. The titular mother likens life to a set of stairs, and hers in particular to a torn up and dilapidated one. Tacks, splinters, and boards torn up represent the trials and tribulations faced by her throughout her life, the rigid and unpleasant obstacles that have stood in the way of her path. Bare spots with no carpet may convey a slightly different meaning--patches of barren loneliness with no one to cushion her scabrous path. However, she states that she powers through those trials and bouts the same way one powers up stairs, "reachin' landin's," "turnin' corners" and "sometimes goin' in the dark," as she continues onward. She advises her son to do the same, and to not once "set down on the steps/'Cause you find it's kinder hard." She is advising him not to give in to the tiresome journey through life and pause because he'll discover it hurts even more to sit and dwell on your obstacles than to power on through. She urges and empowers him to never give up, to keep on climbing despite life not being a "crystal stair," as she herself continues to do.

  9. In "Mother to Son" I believe that the mother is giving advice to her son not to give up. She encourages him that her life "ain't been no crystal stair." Her life isn't over and she still deals with it so don't give up.

  10. Meagan McCaffertyMarch 15, 2017 at 9:12 AM

    The poem is a speech of encouragement from a mother to her son as she explains the trials he'll face in life by comparing it to a staircase. She points out that her own life "ain't no crystal stair" but instead describes it as "torn up" and "bare" with "tacks" and "splinters." Sometimes it was dark too, "where there ain't been no light," meaning that there were places when the mother had no hope for the future, and was possibly depressed. The "landings" signify rest places, probably where she had an easy break instead of struggling to survive. The "corners" are most likely where she began a new chapter in her life or when something significant changed so much that her life began to move in a completely different direction.

    Although she mentions again that her life "ain't been no crystal stair," she warns her son to not sit down on his journey and think about his problems, but continue on with his life boldly. She knows that stopping will hold him back from the future and to dwell in the past is the same as "turn[ing] back".


  11. "Mother to Son" by Langston Hughes is a poem written about a mother giving advice to her son. She explains that her life has not been easy and has been full of challenges – ““Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.” The mother has faced many “tacks” in life and has struggled to overcome them. The mother simply wants her son to know that difficult times will come but she wants him to work hard and to never give up. - So boy, don’t you turn back. Don’t you set down on the steps”

  12. In the poem "Mother to Son" The mother is giving her son advice on never giving up on life because in life it never goes the way you want to go, but you must go along with it and try hard in your challenges.

  13. The aspect of the story tells us that the son is coming to his mother for advice and dose not know what to do in a situation. He is lost and has no clue how to find a way out. His mother is telling him that the life was given is not going to be easy, but he will get through it.

  14. In "Mother to Son", the mother is telling her son to never give up and never back down in even the hardest of times.