Langston Hughes: Poems

What is Langston Hughes's purpose of the poem "War" ?

The face of war is my face.

The face of war is your face.

What color

Is the face

Of war?

Brown, black, white--

Your face and my face.

Death is the broom

I take in my hands

To sweep the world


I sweep and I sweep

Then mop and I mop.

I dip my broom in blood,

My mop in blood--

And blame you for this,

Because you are there,


It's hard to blame me,

Because I am here--

So I kill you.

And you kill me.

My name,

Like your name,

Is war.

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The speaker is commenting on the futility of war. He is saying that there are no "winners" in war. Death knows nothing of nationality or politics: it takes all men.