Paul Laurence Dunbar

(1872-1906 / Ohio / United States)

What's The Use - Poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar

WHAT'S the use o' folks a-frownin'
When the way's a little rough?
Frowns lay out the road fur smilin'
You'll be wrinkled soon enough.
What's the use?
What's the use o' folks a-sighin'?
It's an awful waste o' breath,
An' a body can't stand wastin'
What he needs so bad in death.
What's the use?
What's the use o' even weepin'?
Might as well go long an' smile.
Life, our longest, strongest arrow,
Only lasts a little while.
What's the use?


Comments about What's The Use by Paul Laurence Dunbar

  • Susan Williams Susan Williams (4/9/2016 7:24:00 PM)

    I doubt that he is saying to smile when your child dies and I doubt he is saying to smile when your spouse breaks your heart by being untrue. That would be moronic at the least and psychotic at the most.. I think he must be referring to the lesser ills of mankind's life- -a really bad working relationship with the co-workers or the boss- - the car needs expensive repairs and there is no money- the dog ran away- -someone stole your truck- -oh, sorry, those are country western songs- -but Dunbar recommends a better life through smiling instead of weeping and frowning and snapping and moaning and groaning (Report) Reply

    4 person liked.
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  • Ratnakar Mandlik (4/9/2016 5:51:00 AM)

    A great poem with deep meaning and thought provoking capacity. Thanks for sharing it here. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 2, 2010



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