“Hold fast to dreams 
For if dreams die 
Life is a broken-winged bird 
That cannot fly.”

These lines made their way anonymously onto a scribbled scrap of paper used as a bookmark in a book in a second hand bookstore in London, England.

Serendipitously, the book – intact with bookmark – was found by author Vera Waters.

Ms. Waters was so gripped by these words that she wrote them each each year – for many years – on the opening page of her new diary. She longed to know the origin of these clarion words. However, the handmade placeholder did not reveal this secret.

Eventually, Ms. Waters discovered the name of the author who penned these powerfully unforgettable lines. He was the poet Langston Hughes. The title of the poem was “Dreams.”

To read “Dreams” in its entirety – along with many other poems by Langston Hughes is easier and quicker than the journey of discovery made by Ms. Waters. Just click the icon for the Collected Poems of Langston Hughes in the book Resources section of our website.

A treasury of “singing,” haunting, and powerful words await those who do.