Paul Laurence Dunbar

(1872-1906 / Ohio / United States)

Paul Laurence Dunbar Poems

81. The Looking-Glass 4/2/2010
82. The Dove 4/2/2010
83. The Conquerors 4/2/2010
84. Riding To Town 4/2/2010
85. To The Road 4/2/2010
86. The Turning Of The Babies In The Bed 4/2/2010
87. The Veteran 4/2/2010
88. To A Dead Friend 4/2/2010
89. Response 4/2/2010
90. To Louise 4/2/2010
91. Two Little Boots 4/2/2010
92. The Wind And The Sea 4/2/2010
93. She Told Her Beads 4/2/2010
94. Retort 4/2/2010
95. The Voice Of The Banjo 4/2/2010
96. To The South 4/2/2010
97. The Delinquent 4/2/2010
98. The Gourd 4/2/2010
99. The Chase 4/2/2010
100. The End Of The Chapter 4/2/2010
101. Suppose 4/2/2010
102. The Capture 4/2/2010
103. The Boogah Man 4/2/2010
104. Silence 4/2/2010
105. Toast To Dayton 4/2/2010
106. The Deserted Plantation 4/2/2010
107. Trouble In De Kitchen 4/2/2010
108. Till The Wind Gets Right 4/2/2010
109. Slow Through The Dark 4/2/2010
110. Spring Fever 4/2/2010
111. The Bohemian 4/2/2010
112. Sunset 4/2/2010
113. The Spellin'-Bee 4/2/2010
114. The Lesson 4/2/2010
115. The Lily Of The Valley 4/2/2010
116. The Rising Of The Storm 4/2/2010
117. The Warrior's Prayer 4/2/2010
118. Soliloquy Of A Turkey 4/2/2010
119. Roses 4/2/2010
120. To A Captious Critic 4/2/2010

Comments about Paul Laurence Dunbar

  • 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.

    111 person liked.
    42 person did not like.
  • 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.

  • Habib Noori (9/23/2011 1:49:00 PM)

    ignorance, just ignorance

  • 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.

  • 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.

Best Poem of Paul Laurence Dunbar

We Wear The Mask

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,--
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be overwise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!

Read the full of We Wear The Mask


There is a heaven, for ever, day by day,
The upward longing of my soul doth tell me so.
There is a hell, I'm quite as sure; for pray
If there were not, where would my neighbours go?

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