poet Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes

#6 on top 500 poets

Dinner Guest: Me

I know I am
The Negro Problem
Being wined and dined,
Answering the usual questions
That come to white mind
Which seeks demurely
To Probe in polite way
The why and wherewithal
Of darkness U.S.A.--
Wondering how things got this way
In current democratic night,
Murmuring gently
Over fraises du bois,
"I'm so ashamed of being white."

The lobster is delicious,
The wine divine,
And center of attention
At the damask table, mine.
To be a Problem on
Park Avenue at eight
Is not so bad.
Solutions to the Problem,
Of course, wait.

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

Add this poem to MyPoemList

Rating Card

3,3 out of 5
175 total ratings
rate this poem

Comments about Dinner Guest: Me by Langston Hughes

  • cucking funt (4/10/2019 11:27:00 AM)

    harder daddy ;) i want it all inside daddy

    Already Reported Reply
    4 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Clifford (10/3/2018 3:32:00 PM)

    Yes papi yes papi yes papi yes papi

    Report Reply
    6 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Ben Dover (2/19/2018 1:56:00 AM)

    Yes yes yes yes yes yes I do not understand

    Report Reply
    5 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • B.m. BiswasB.m. Biswas (5/21/2016 10:50:00 AM)

    The problem is within the white....so they suffer...not the negronegros...welspoken...

    Report Reply
    6 person liked.
    8 person did not like.
  • E S (3/8/2016 9:06:00 AM)

    I think some of the comments here presume Hughes excepts the idea of a Negro propblem, begging the question what it is, who decides what is (if there isn't rather a white man problem) etc. That he has a more ironic critical position to the pseudo-ethical dinnertime debates of white New York lies in the opening lines I know I am the Negro Problem, which if taken plainly would be absurd.

    Report Reply
    1 person liked.
    11 person did not like.
  • Hannah Shier (6/14/2010 2:31:00 PM)

    Um I agree with Darrell but at the end I think he means that it's great that they're acknowledging that there is a problem, but the solution to that problem is going to have to wait. The whites realize that there is a problem, they just can't, or don't, want to fix it just yet.

    Report Reply
    14 person liked.
    55 person did not like.
  • Darrell Blue (1/16/2010 2:07:00 PM)

    I personally think this poem is about Langston being invited to a fancy restaurant by a white person and the two of them are discussing race. You can tell by the way he says 'Asked the usual questions' and how the white person is embarrassed to be white. A black person in a fancy restaurant was a big deal back in those days. Not only do they have to wait for service in the restaurant, but their discussion is about the answer to race relations and in the end of the poem he says; the answer to the problem is to wait. Genius duality.

    Report Reply
    39 person liked.
    31 person did not like.
  • Tyrone Thornton (11/24/2009 8:17:00 PM)

    Magnificent peom.... I love the last two lines of this peom because it puts us to our present day and time. We have waited for a solution.

    Report Reply
    26 person liked.
    23 person did not like.
  • Tiffany Border (2/20/2009 12:31:00 PM)

    This poem is way too amazing for words! ! ! i am so impressed! ! ! ! i love love love this poem! ! ! i am doing lagston hughes for my prject in school and i could not have picked a better african american! ! !

    Report Reply
    18 person liked.
    30 person did not like.
  • Sean Andrews (4/23/2008 10:41:00 PM)

    Valid points he makes of white culture in 1965, especially upper-middle class white culture 'park ave', polite, well to do, curious, sympathetic, but still not seeing the point for what it is.
    There is a problem, and he personifies himself as that problem. He doesn't care that you are ashamed of being white, he doesn't want you to be ashamed. He appreciates the hospitality and of listening to him, but he is no charity case which the rich sympathetic white culture can now feel gratified to have contributed to helping solve 'the problem.'
    The 'solution' is not a meal and a conversation, that's in fact part of the problem having over a simple 'dinner guest' isn't the answer, the 'solution' must come later and with more behind it...

    Report Reply
    20 person liked.
    30 person did not like.
  • Emily Zee (1/1/2007 11:20:00 PM)

    another amazing poem from L.H....

    Report Reply
    20 person liked.
    24 person did not like.
  • J P Klegg (6/25/2005 12:11:00 PM)

    This guy is just a flat out riot.

    Report Reply
    13 person liked.
    30 person did not like.
  • Jamila Presnell (3/31/2005 3:59:00 PM)

    I have done a report on this poem for English I was given another poem to work on originally but after reading this poem and pleading my case to my teacher I was allowed to switch to this one.

    Report Reply
    14 person liked.
    29 person did not like.



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: night