Did you ever have to memorize that Langston Hughes poem, A Dream Deferred? I want to say that I was in fourth grade when I was required to, and the poem hasn’t left my brain since. I wish I could recite it for you now like we’re one big classroom and it’s my turn to read out loud, but we’ll just have to make do in the form of this here blog. The poem goes as such:
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
Hughes’ use of the word “dream” could be interpreted as the kind one experiences while sleeping, or he could mean it as a goal (which, one could argue, might manifest itself while asleep). Let’s focus on the sleepy kind today, because Leandra, Charlotte and I have all been having really, really weird dreams lately. By the nature of this particular office where we talk-out every single details of our lives in the hopes of uncovering a story, dreams become a part of that conversation too. For us, rarely are our dreams deferred.
But what about the ones we don’t remember? Were they not as good? Did our brain decide that it was still working through a particular matter in our subconscious and needed a few minutes? I once read that you can only remember the dreams that happened seconds before you wake up, but does that mean the ones that were deferred end up arising a few days or weeks later? Or maybe they present themselves in the daylight by way of a brilliant article idea or something we feel compelled to sketch, or sing, or dance.
Dreams are endlessly fascinating. There’s multiple theories on why we dream and what they mean, and then there’s the conversation about controlling our dreams, but sometimes I wonder if a dream remembered is our brains’ way of giving us something to talk about the next day in the office.
And the ones deferred? Well, maybe you’ll be reading about them next week.
What about you? What are some of the weirdest dreams you’ve had lately? Any recurring ones? Any nightmares? Or worse than the nightmare — the perfect dream that keeps getting interrupted? Tell us below, you know we have to know.
— Amelia Diamond