I Too Dream

By Robert Spencer Knotts


I wrote “I Too Dream” in the summer of 2020 as my response to a justly famous poem by Langston Hughes, “I Dream A World.” In his lovely work, Hughes imagines a utopian society for humankind. He begins with these lines: 

“I dream a world where man
No other man will scorn,
Where love will bless the earth
And peace its paths adorn”

My vision is very different. I do not believe in utopia, not in any form outside the human imagination. To me, this concept presented as humanity’s attainable future ignores the fundamental nature of our minds – and fixes our attention on goals that frustrate more realistic attempts to improve as a species. My poem, “I Too Dream,” offers a reimagining of Hughes’ fantasy, looking toward a still distant but I believe achievable moral evolution. I hope you may enjoy it.



I Too Dream
a poem by
Robert Spencer Knotts

I too dream a world
but unlike worlds most
dreamed before. 

Mine is a world
pocked by bickering and war,
snarling people
and barking mobs.
Oh yes, I dream of human beings
foaming yet with angers
and fizzing still with fears
bred by the familiar misunderstandings
among careless flung words.

All beings as themselves
so human,
then as now. 

But all with one thing imagined
more for those living
in my vivid world anew. 

Because my dreaming dreams of
future skirmish-wars defused,
our old hatreds resolving
in a new confidence of knowledge
that wedges aside the ancients
of myth and superstition
lingering indifferently
from millennia elapsed.
I dream of bicker noises
overtaken by song,
the transcendent hymn
of our humanity
crescendoing in a joyful ode
whenever the voices of dissonance
again rise to a din.

Oh yes, dissonance shall surely sound again
and often again in that world I dream,
disharmony intrinsic to a cosmos atonal,
a natural music playing ever out of key
in the chaos of clash and clatter
written into nature’s grand score.

We are organisms
fashioned of conflict.
Crossed purposes of interests and
crosscurrents of histories
will move us then as now,
he panting passions of our peoples
still puffed up and selfish centered.

We cannot be more than we are made.
But we need not be less. 

Yes when I dream of human beings
being as the human finally fulfilled,
every member of our envisioned species
then understands that existence without
conflict has always been fantasy,
a conjuring of Utopia unattainable
amid a universe propelled
ever by the myriad colliding
streams of necessity.

Nature’s legacy to human beings
is conflict, oh yes,
but conflict resolved by reason
is humanity’s gift to nature.

In this world I dream about
judgment will nearly
balance out emotion,
the angers and fears of this moment
dissolving soon in the wisdom
of the next. 

We cannot be more than we are made.
But we need not be less. 

As an infant develops to a child
who ages to an adult
who may evolve to a
human being wondering and wise,
so humanity still toddles
toward our maturity,
wobbling step by
faltered step in
the long long childhood. 

I dream this child standing
one day a young adult
proud and imperfect,
oftentime curious with uncertainty,
straining to discern the confusing paths
forward before advancing
forcefully in bold stride.

© Copyright 2020, Robert Spencer Knotts


Bob Knotts is the author of 27 books, five plays and many nonfiction articles, lyrics and poems. His newest book is “Beyond Me: Dissecting Ego To Find The Innate Love At Humanity’s Core.” He founded the Humanity Project in November 2005 to create programs and materials that would help people based on ideas expressed in his writings. www.rsknotts.com