First a question for Langston Hughes. How in the world do you craft (or channel?) a poem like "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" as a 17-year-old? There's so much wisdom and soulfulness here! The young man was blessed, that's for sure.
Next a question for illustrator E.B. Lewis. How's it possible to have captured the depth and gravity of Hughes' "Song of the Harlem Renaissance" with a series of watercolor paintings? Oh, maybe I should have read your note at the end: "I read the poem over and over, and as I visualized the meaning of the words, Hughes' work became as personal as a prayer. More was revealed to me each time I read it, and I began to truly understand the poem's essence." Officially, I'd call that a poet/painter match made in heaven.
Take a close look at each painting. A woman's weathered feet on a dry river bed, a kind elderly face, a golden sunset painting the scene for grandfather and grandson while fishing, mom and baby sleeping in a hammock in the Congo, the prayer of a soul deep like the rivers, all of them. They're beautiful. The combination of languid pace, soul-sourced artwork, and divinely-inspired verse do make for quite the contemplative experience.
Recommended for mystics of any age.