Paul Laurence Dunbar

(1872-1906 / Ohio / United States)

Paul Laurence Dunbar
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Dunbar was born in Dayton, Ohio to parents who had escaped from slavery; his father was a veteran of the American Civil War, having served in the 55th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment and the 5th Massachusetts Colored Cavalry Regiment. His parents instilled in him a love of learning and history. He was a student at an all-white high school, Dayton Central High School, and he participated actively as a student. During high school, he was both the editor of the school newspaper and class president, as well as the president of the school literary society. Dunbar had also started the first African-American newsletter in Dayton.

He wrote his first poem at age 6 and gave his first public... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''Lay me down beneaf de willers in de grass,
    Whah de branch'll go a-singin' as it pass.''
    Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906), U.S. poet. A Death Song (l. 1-2). . . Poetry of the Negro, The, 1746-1970. Langston Hughes and Arna Bontemps, ed...
  • ''Fu' I t'ink de las' long res'
    Gwine to soothe my sperrit bes'
    If I's layin' 'mong de t'ings I's allus knowed.''
    Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906), U.S. poet. A Death Song (l. 13-15). . . Poetry of the Negro, The, 1746-1970. Langston Hughes and Arna Bontemps, ...
  • ''An angel, robed in spotless white,
    Bent down and kissed the sleeping Night.
    Night woke to blush; the sprite was gone.
    Men saw the blush and called it Dawn.''
    Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906), U.S. poet. Dawn (l. 1-4). . . American Negro Poetry. Arna Bontemps, ed. (Rev. ed., 1974) Hill and Wang.
  • ''And catch the gleaming of a random light,
    That tells me that the ship I seek is passing, passing.''
    Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906), U.S. poet. Ships That Pass in the Night (l. 4-5). . . Anthology of American Poetry. George Gesner, ed. (1983) Av...
  • ''Is there no hope for me? Is there no way
    That I may sight and check that speeding bark
    Which out of sight and sound is passing, passing?''
    Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906), U.S. poet. Ships That Pass in the Night (l. 13-15). . . Anthology of American Poetry. George Gesner, ed. (1983) ...
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  • Veteran Poet - 4,443 Points * Sunprincess * (6/27/2014 9:29:00 AM)

    .............happy birthday paul laurence dunbar! ! !

  • Veteran Poet - 4,443 Points Vicky Love (5/26/2014 5:30:00 AM)

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    please contact me through my email address so i can give you my picture and tell you my date have a nice day

  • Veteran Poet - 4,443 Points Mohlouoa Ntsasa (9/28/2013 7:17:00 AM)

    Dr Mohlouoa Ntsasa a South African prolific novelist, poet laureate, motivational speaker, acclaimed linguist, celebrated actor and academic. Mohlouoa Ntsasa is the first African Poet, to research and write for twelve years (12 years) a poetry book called “Poetry” that has all sixty one (61) known forms of poetry in one book, thus includes but not limited to: Acrostics, Anagrams, Canzones, Epigrams, Limericks, Monosyllabics, Palindromes, Rondeaus, Sestinas, Tercets etc, etc. Moreover, he wrote the second longest Palindrome Poem in the world, the first longest palindrome poem is 224 words written by Demetri Martin's and his is 335 words breaking the world record.


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    CLOSE HABIT (TYPE OF POEM: GHAZAL)

    I sniffed a habit called close
    I cut my heart to see you close

    I kiss your hands and neck
    Each time I pull you close

    I kiss your cheeks and eyes
    For keeping your beauty close

    I kiss your pains and tears
    Each time your wound close

    I kiss your world with a seal
    Nobody jealous can get close

    I kiss your shadow and smell
    Now for worry gap you close

    I kiss your lingerie’s and rings
    Behind each door you close

    I kiss your tongue and lips
    For every secret you disclose

    I kiss your divorce certificate
    Until I find someone close

    April 11,2011 by Mohlouoa Ntsasa

  • Veteran Poet - 4,443 Points Russ Newsom (5/8/2013 6:43:00 AM)

    Incredible men should not be forgotten. Thank you Mr. Dunbar for your works.

  • Veteran Poet - 4,443 Points Armando Lopez (6/21/2012 5:55:00 PM)

    I live on his street (N.P.L. DUNBAR ST., DAYTON, OH.,) and i am in sheer awe, as a poet myself, of the brilliance and talent of this precious man who lived 33 yrs. What a talent, and his final home is so beautiful! r.i.p. Paul.

  • Veteran Poet - 4,443 Points Evelyn Morgan (4/17/2012 9:07:00 AM)

    I remember reading Paul Dunbar in high school and in a college poetry course. His words are not only profound, but they also read like music to the ears. He speaks from the heart about feelings that are not only evoking the black experience, but life experience. Try reading his poems aloud especially those in dialect. It's worth the extra effort.

  • Veteran Poet - 4,443 Points Ben Highpriest (11/8/2011 9:04:00 PM)

    Paul Laurence Dunbar is the greatest example of what was wrong with Thomas Jefferson's views that blacks had no sense of poetry. Sure, he wrote in the sty; e of the most noted white poets of the day. But there are powerful metaphors in his words that are sometimes sad. Mostly, though he proved that education would render Jefferson wrong. His mother, while a slave, took in as much as she could from the poetry readings in the house where she worked. Did T.J., have such events? Paul learned the power of education from her. The other idiots who left there comments here know nothing about history and sound as if they think Dunbar was writing this stuff today, like a rap artist.
    ben

  • Veteran Poet - 4,443 Points Habib Noori (9/23/2011 1:49:00 PM)

    ignorance, just ignorance

  • Veteran Poet - 4,443 Points Orran Ainmire (4/10/2007 9:15:00 PM)

    I apologize to all for the fact that i'm using this comment box as a means of delivering a personal message, but i feel it must be done. Okay first off... Why Whitt Bell why? Why do you pollute the msg boards of a website dedicated to poetry and poets alike with phrases of 'i hate this guy, i think all poetry is stupid.'
    Its obvious you don't understand the greater meaning behind written works of literature and, in turn, it shows that your an illiterate twit who is a prime example of ignorance everywhere. Your kind infest the world and, like a parasite, feast on the living Word of others while producing nothing of your own. You are a hypocrite and a louse; you should spout your words of stupidity elsewhere. Leave us in peace.

  • Veteran Poet - 4,443 Points Whitt Bell (4/6/2007 1:41:00 PM)

    I have never in my life until the 9th grade poem project heard about this guy. I think he should of given up his life. I dont like him.

Read all 10 comments »

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