Paul Laurence Dunbar

(1872-1906 / Ohio / United States)

A Choice - Poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar

They please me not-- these solemn songs
That hint of sermons covered up.
'T is true the world should heed its wrongs,
But in a poem let me sup,
Not simples brewed to cure or ease
Humanity's confessed disease,
But the spirit-wine of a singing line,
Or a dew-drop in a honey cup!


Comments about A Choice by Paul Laurence Dunbar

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (12/18/2017 12:59:00 PM)


    Such a good write by Paul Laurence Dunbar👍👍👍 (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Edward Kofi Louis (12/18/2017 11:02:00 AM)


    To cure or ease! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • (12/18/2017 5:39:00 AM)


    The choice- be and let be- well expressed. (Report) Reply

  • (12/18/2017 12:51:00 AM)


    Tossed between propriety and the fitness of things there is a choice........well master craft by master poet........
    thanks for sharing
    (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams (12/19/2015 10:16:00 PM)


    I dislike politically based poetry- especially concerning a past I have no knowledge of. But there are followers of this kind. In the end, viva la difference (Report) Reply

    (12/18/2017 3:22:00 PM)

    Your instincts are right. Poetry that tells us what to do is inferior poetry. It is the purpose of poetry to show problems, not to instruct us in what is moral or try to fix problems. That there are followers of this kind of poetry does not absolve them from wrongheadedness. They are not just different; they are wrong.

  • (1/21/2014 5:47:00 PM)


    I think poetry should be seen as a mode of expression, rather than an agenda. So it should allow all agendas: -) (Report) Reply

    (12/18/2017 3:18:00 PM)

    No! It should allow NO agendas! When a poem is loaded down with an agenda, it becomes propaganda. Poetry is an articulation of what is, not an articulation of WHAT WE SHOULD DO. Its purpose is to show, to illuminate, not to coax or direct us to action or moral improvement.

  • (11/9/2013 8:18:00 PM)


    when the world causes pain... poetry is their to soothe it... (Report) Reply

    (12/18/2017 2:38:00 PM)

    No. Poetry is not there to soothe pain; it is there to show the exact nature of pain. A poem does not fix problems; it shows problems. Its goal is an awakening of the understanding, of the mind's perception of truth. We don't watch King Lear to help geriatrics; we watch it to understand old age.

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Read poems about / on: poem, world, song



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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