Paul Laurence Dunbar

(1872-1906 / Ohio / United States)

Paul Laurence Dunbar Poems

81. Breaking The Charm 4/2/2010
82. By Rugged Ways 4/2/2010
83. By The Stream 4/2/2010
84. Changing Time 4/2/2010
85. Chrismus Is A-Comin' 4/2/2010
86. Chrismus On The Plantation 4/2/2010
87. Christmas 4/2/2010
88. Christmas Carol 4/2/2010
89. Christmas In The Heart 4/2/2010
90. Circumstances Alter Cases 4/2/2010
91. Columbian Ode 4/2/2010
92. Common Things 1/3/2003
93. Communion 4/2/2010
94. Comparison 4/2/2010
95. Compensation 11/22/2014
96. Confessional 4/2/2010
97. Confirmation 1/3/2003
98. Conscience And Remorse 4/2/2010
99. Curiosity 4/2/2010
100. Curtain 4/2/2010
101. Dat Ol' Mare O' Mine 4/2/2010
102. Dawn 4/2/2010
103. Day 4/2/2010
104. De Critters' Dance 4/2/2010
105. De Way T'Ings Come 4/2/2010
106. Deacon Jones' Grievance 4/2/2010
107. Dead 4/2/2010
108. Death 4/2/2010
109. Dely 4/2/2010
110. Despair 4/2/2010
111. Differences 4/2/2010
112. Dinah Kneading Dough 4/2/2010
113. Diplomacy 4/2/2010
114. Dirge 4/2/2010
115. Dirge For A Soldier 4/2/2010
116. Disappointed. 4/2/2010
117. Discovered 4/2/2010
118. Distinction 1/3/2003
119. Douglass 1/3/2003
120. Dream Song I 4/2/2010

Comments about Paul Laurence Dunbar

  • 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.

    106 person liked.
    47 person did not like.
  • 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.

  • 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


WHO dat knockin' at de do'?
Why, Ike Johnson, -- yes, fu' sho!
Come in, Ike. I's mighty glad
You come down. I t'ought you's
At me 'bout de othah night,
An' was stayin' 'way fu' spite.
Say, now, was you mad fu' true
W'en I kin' o' laughed at you?

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