“To fling my arms wide
In some place of the sun,
To whirl and to dance
Till the white day is done.
Then rest at cool evening
Beneath a tall tree
While night comes on gently,
    Dark like me—
That is my dream!”

Langston Hughes, “Dream Variations”

Hughes has emerged from being a prominent Black poet to being one of the most recognized and revered voices among all American poets. His poetry wears that mantle uncomfortably in its self-conscious awareness of the enforced otherness of the Black voice in society. This poem can be read as a sonorous, joyous elegy to the beauty and promise of life, but its emphasis on “white day is done” in contrast to the offset lines “Dark like me” and “Black like me” in the next stanza is unmissable.