Book Review: The Negro Speaks Of Rivers 

This book is so short, an illustrated version of an old and well-known poem, but I couldn’t leave it at the library, despite already knowing the poem well. I had never appreciated it completely or truly thought about every verse like I wanted to. I had to digest the words fully, revisit them time and time again. For those three weeks, I consumed it a hundred times. The illustrations offered a visual, helping me truly understand the authors intention, but they stand beautifully on their own. I wanted to take every one of the pages out of the book and tape them to my wall so I can see them everyday. I can’t quite put my finger on why I think they’re so beautiful, but they hold some sort of magic that draws the viewer in. Maybe it’s the powerful meaning behind them. Maybe it’s the subtle details in each one. Maybe it’s the way Lewis captures emotion so well. Either way, the photos I took don’t do this book justice and I highly suggest giving it a look, especially if you have never read the poem before.

Poet: Langston Hughes

Illustrator: E. B. Lewis


Instagram: gabriellegillispie


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