Paul Laurence Dunbar

(1872-1906 / Ohio / United States)

Paul Laurence Dunbar Poems

161. Christmas 4/2/2010
162. Confessional 4/2/2010
163. De Way T'Ings Come 4/2/2010
164. At Lofting-Holt 4/2/2010
165. A Song (#3) 4/2/2010
166. Dream Song Ii 4/2/2010
167. Ballade 4/2/2010
168. Dirge 4/2/2010
169. Premonition 4/2/2010
170. James Whitcomb Riley 4/2/2010
171. De Critters' Dance 4/2/2010
172. After A Visit 4/2/2010
173. Day 4/2/2010
174. Keep A Song Up On De Way 4/2/2010
175. L'Envoi 4/2/2010
176. Foolin' Wid De Seasons 4/2/2010
177. In The Tents Of Akbar 4/2/2010
178. An Easy Goin' Feller 4/2/2010
179. Yesterday And To-Morrow 4/2/2010
180. The Old Front Gate 1/1/2004
181. On A Clean Book 4/2/2010
182. Joggin' Erlong 4/2/2010
183. Circumstances Alter Cases 4/2/2010
184. Diplomacy 4/2/2010
185. Bein' Back Home 4/2/2010
186. From The Porch At Runnymede 4/2/2010
187. Ione 4/2/2010
188. Fulfillment 4/2/2010
189. Absence 4/2/2010
190. Puttin' The Baby Away 4/2/2010
191. In Summer Time 4/2/2010
192. By Rugged Ways 4/2/2010
193. Farewell To Arcady 4/2/2010
194. Dat Ol' Mare O' Mine 4/2/2010
195. At Night 4/2/2010
196. On A Sea Wall 4/2/2010
197. Chrismus On The Plantation 4/2/2010
198. A Song (#3) 4/2/2010
199. A Preference 4/2/2010
200. A Spring Wooing 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


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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