Still Here

Still Here

By Langston Hughes

I been scarred and battered.
My hopes the wind done scattered.
Snow has friz me,
Sun has baked me,

Looks like between ‘em they done
Tried to make me

Stop laughin’, stop lovin’, stop livin’–
But I don’t care!
I’m still here!

Summary of Still Here

  • Popularity of “Still Here”: ‘Still Here’ was written by Langston Hughes, a great African American poet, social activist and writer. This mindful poetic piece highlights the importance of being optimistic and strong. It highlights how a man with strong willpower feels affected by negative strain. However, the poem’s popularity can be credited to its treatment of the sentiments of valor, persistence, and hopefulness.
  • “Still Here”, As a Representative of Courage: Written from a young man’s perspective, the poem shows the harsh truths of the world. It begins when the speaker explains how the severity of the weather strikes him. However, on the other hand, he talks about the rough and cold behavior of the people who try to put him down. He says that he was scarred and battered, and even his hopes were robbed. He elaborates that it appeared as if the world was constructed to impose a burden on him. People stopped him from laughing, loving, and living. Every attempt was made to obstruct his ability to revel in the true colors of life. Unfortunately, they failed to accomplish their mission because their efforts did not bear the desired fruit. The speaker remains unconcerned about them, as he continues to shine with equal radiance. The poem’s hopeful and vibrant tone implies that the speaker is indifferent to those who seek to bring him down.
  • Major Themes in “Still Here”: The poem’s central themes are the harsh realities of the world and the importance of having an unshakeable and robust stance. This short yet meaningful poem pinpoints unfair practices in the world, such as injustice and discrimination. On a surface level, the poem talks about the problems the speaker might have faced in the past. However, on a deeper level, it explains the sufferings of the African American community before the gained their equal rights. They were deprived of their essential needs. Ironically, they survived all odds and became prosperous. The poem makes people see the strong fight of black people against injustice..

Analysis of Literary Devices Used in “Still Here”

literary devices give deeper meanings to a seemingly short and simple poem. Their usage makes a poem rich, meaningful and deep. Langston Hughes has also used some literary devices in this poem whose analysis is as follows.

  1. Assonance: Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in the same line, such as the sound of /o/ inStop laughin’, stop lovin’, stop livin’”.
  2. Alliteration: Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line, such as the sound of /s/ and /l/ in “stop lovin’, stop livin’”.
  3. Consonance: Consonance is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line, such as the sound of /p/ and /v/ in “Stop laughin’, stop lovin’, stop livin’” and the sound of /r/ in “I been scarred and battered”.
  4. Enjambment: It is defined as a thought in verse that does not come to an end at a line break; rather, it rolls over to the next line. For example,

Looks like between ‘em they done
Tried to make me
Stop laughin’, stop lovin’, stop livin’”

  1. Imagery: Imagery is used to make readers perceive things involving their five senses. For example, “My hopes the wind done scattered”, “I been scarred and battered” and “Stop laughin’, stop lovin’, stop livin’.”
  2. Metaphor: It is a figure of speech in which an implied comparison is made between the objects that are different. The poem shows courage and optimism as an extended metaphors to show how African Americans survived in the world full of prejudice and injustice.
  3. Personification: Personification is to give human qualities to inanimate objects. The writer has used personification in the middle of the poem, where the poet describes the humanistic quality of sun such as “Sun has bakes me.”
  4. Symbolism: Symbolism is using symbols to signify ideas and qualities, giving them symbolic meanings that are different from literal meanings. The poem shows the use of the symbols of hope, suffering and optimism just to show how people come out of darkness once they get determined.
  5. Synecdoche: It is a literary device in which a part of something represents the whole, or it may use a whole to represent a part. The poet used this device in the last stanza, where “Stop laughin’, stop lovin’, stop livin’” refers to the sufferings of black community.

Analysis of Poetic Devices Used in Still Here

Poetic and literary devices are the same, but a few are used only in poetry. Here is the analysis of some of the poetic devices used in this poem.

  1. Diction and Tone: The poem shows descriptive diction having rhetoric devices, symbolism and impressive images. The tone, however, is bitter and serious.
  2. Free Verse: Free verse is a type of poetry that does not contain patterns of rhyme or meter. This is a free verse poem with no strict rhyme or meter.
  3. Quatrain: A quatrain is a four-lined stanza borrowed from Persian poetry. Here, the first stanza is quatrain.
  1. Stanza: A stanza is a poetic form of some lines. The poem has three stanzas having a different number of verses.
  2. Tercet: A tercet is a three-lined stanza borrowed from Biblical Hebrew poetry. Here, the last stanza is tercet.

Quotes to be Used

These lines from poem “Still Here” are useful to quote when talking about the sufferings of any community, nation or society.

I been scarred and battered.
My hopes the wind done scattered.
Snow has friz me,
Sun has baked me.”

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