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Origins of the DreamHughes's Poetry and King's Rhetoric$
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W. Jason Miller

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780813060446

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813060446.001.0001

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“I Dream a World”

“I Dream a World”

Rewriting Hughes’s Signature Poem

(p.142) 7 “I Dream a World”
Origins of the Dream

W. Jason Miller

University Press of Florida

This chapter documents King’s most visible engagements with Langston Hughes’s poem “I Dream a World.” This engagement reveals how King internalized and then rewrote Hughes’s dream in a series of speeches delivered in 1956. King’s speeches from this era reveal his complex rhetorical use of anaphora and chiasmus. The poem is of great significance as it is linked to King’s first enunciation of the Beloved Community, and this connection is discussed within the framework of a long and rich tradition of scholarship that has established this principal as being so central to King’s vision of an integrated world. The long history of the poem itself is documented from its composition through various appearances in print including its central role in the opera Troubled Island with music composed by William Grant Still.

Keywords:   anaphora, Beloved Community, “I Dream a World”, Troubled Island, William Grant Still

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