“Aunt Sue`s Stories” Poetry Essay Analysis

Langston Hughes`s poetry “Aunt Sue`s Stories” represents the essence of the African cultural tradition of storytelling. The poem touches difficult topics of experience, even negative experiences passing to the next generation in the form of fairy tales and stories. For each culture, it is crucial to teach young generation history but sometimes history is so painful that it must be demonstrated in the form of a story with the elements of magic and fairy tale.

The woman tells a story to the child in which she opens all the details of slavery which she must have experienced in life. These stories left a trace in her mind and in her heart. It becomes clear from the first lines of the verse:
“Aunt Sue has a head full of stories,
Aunt Sue has a heart full of stories”

The woman probably wants to alleviate her burden of memory and somehow prepare her child for life in a cruel world understanding that being black he will also have to face the same discrimination and pressure. In her stories, Aunt Sue makes the world less dangerous and threatening as she turns suffering and hard work into a beautiful metaphorical story. She adds poetical details describing nature to make the whole concept of slavery sound less dramatically:
“And black slaves
Singing sorrow songs on the banks of the mighty river”

The woman intentionally turns her experience into a beautiful image for a child. It is believed that when a person can create a story out of his/her struggling he/she is ready to let go negative memories. Here the situation is much more difficult. The woman tries to pass the whole national legacy to the child, which is hard can be explained. But it capturing that the child intuitively understands that Aunt Sue`s stories are real and listens carefully to them:
“He knows that Aunt Sue never got her stories out of any book at all
But that they came
Right out of her own life