So Tired Blues

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So Tired Blues

by Langston Hughes

With the sun in my hand
Gonna throw the sun
Way across the land-
Cause I’m tired,
Tired as I can be.


This is a short five line poem expressing succinctly the Speaker’s desire to get the day’s obligations over with and go to bed. He describes here a desire to move the sun rapidly toward sunset. Fatigue is a frequent theme for Hughes in his poetry. “Tired” as used by Hughes should be viewed as something that is both corporeal and spiritual.

Rebecca Gross wrote an article on Hughes and his love of jazz in 2014. Included below is an excerpt but I recommend clicking on the link and reading the whole thing:

Early on, Hughes’s love for the music found its way to the page, giving rise to the fusion genre known as jazz poetry. In the same vein as his beliefs about jazz, Hughes felt that jazz poetry could be a uniquely African-American literary form, distinctive among the venerable—and very white—poetic canon. When he wrote about jazz, Hughes often incorporated syncopated rhythms, jive language, or looser phrasing to mimic the improvisatory nature of jazz; in other poems, his verse reads like the lyrics of a blues song. The result was as close as you could get to spelling out jazz.

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