Imitation of Hughes’ “Dream Boogie: Variation”

Nonstop Rabble

Nonstop rabble,                                                                                                                                   underpinned drums,                                                                                                                             Strange gals babble                                                                                                                            Beneath the throbbing hums,                                                                                                              Weaving rhymes                                                                                                                                With perfect times,                                                                                                                                Belching horns                                                                                                                                      ‘tween the echoed gap,                                                                                                                         Feels like a scratch                                                                                                                              On his mind wide,                                                                                                                             Thoughts in pain hatch                                                                                                                      which were vain to hide.

I wanted to do an imitation of this poem by Hughes because I really enjoyed the way it described the scene of listening to a band in a club. I play a little bit (that was my semi-narcissistic plug) and I wanted to restructure the poem a little bit to put it from the musicians perspective. I swapped out the section: “Looks like his eyes/[a]re teasing pain” (9-10) with mine about a musicians mind wandering away from the music to sadder thoughts. I really liked how Hughes moved from image to image as the speakers eyes are wandering from object to object as well as his ears. He begins with ears which is the surface of the music and then eyes to really look at what’s behind the music. I thought it was a really beautiful approach. I really liked his line about the musicians eyes and how they tease pain to show how he can make such beautiful sounds yet be in so much pain. It is almost as if Hughes is commenting on how the pianist taps into that pain to make his music. Overall, I find it to be a very a sad poem.


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One Response to Imitation of Hughes’ “Dream Boogie: Variation”

  1. oliphantgg says:

    Format of the poem got a little messed up. Sorry about that..

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