The Holy Book of Barbecue

B A R B E C U E ~ E M R E S S


5. The Negro Speaks of Rivers

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.







By Langston Hughes

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