It's only two stanzas and eight lines long, but 'Dreams' offers some basic instructions to those who read it: keep hold of your dreams, because without them the world can be a brutal world.
Hughes starts out by immediately admonishing readers with a simple piece of advice: to 'hold fast' to your dreams. These aren't the types of dreams you have at night while you're fast asleep, but rather the dreams of your future, the things you hope for, or the goals you want to achieve.
The author continues by telling us what will happen if we allow our dreams to die. Life overall, he says, is a 'broken-winged bird that cannot fly.' Essentially, the author is saying that dreams help to give our lives purpose and meaning, and without them, life is harsh and difficult.
In the second stanza, Hughes again motivates readers to hold fast to their dreams. In this instance, the author compares the loss of a dream to living in a cold and barren field where there is no life, no joy, and nothing grows.