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Border Line

I used to wonder
About living and dying—
I think the difference lies
Between tears and crying.

I used to wonder 
About here and there—
I think the distance
Is nowhere.

—Langston Hughes, from “Section V,  Distance Nowhere” in Selected Poems of Langston Hughes (Vintage Classics Edition, 1990)

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"The Negro Speaks of Rivers" Langston Hughes


I've known rivers:
I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
     flow of human blood in human veins.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln 
     went down to New Orleans, and I've seen its muddy 
     bosom turn all golden in the sunset.

I've known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
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