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When Malindy Sings

Rating: 3.2

G'way an' quit dat noise, Miss Lucy--
Put dat music book away;
What's de use to keep on tryin'?
Ef you practise twell you're gray,
You cain't sta't no notes a-flyin'
Lak de ones dat rants and rings
F'om de kitchen to de big woods
When Malindy sings.

You ain't got de nachel o'gans

Fu' to make de soun' come right,
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COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Valerie Crumble 31 January 2010

I also remember my mother reciting this poem with such expression and using the broken language correctly. My mother was from Acamac County Virginia and her school encouraged students to memorize and recite for (at that time) , Negro History Week Programs. She also could recite the with 'Jump, Back Honey, Jump Back.

0 1 Reply
Valerie Crumble 31 January 2010

I also remember my mother reciting this poem with such expression and using the broken language correctly. My mother was from Acamac County Virginia and her school encouraged students to memorize and recite for (at that time) , Negro History Week Programs. She also could recite the with 'Jump, Back Honey, Jump Back.

0 3 Reply
Kiarra Smith 13 February 2009

I used to know this poem by memory. This is, of course, one of Dunbar's dialect poems. If one were to go very deeply in analizing this poem, they would come up with a countless amount of interpretations. It shows the natural talent bestowed upon certain people, regardless of class, gennder, age, or race. The Miss Lucy character, most likely one placed in a higher status due to her race does not have the natural ability to sing as Malindy does. Though, she attempts to sing well by using a music book, the narrator tells her to put it away and 'what's the use to keep on trying if you practice till you're gray? ' Malindy is blessed with a beautiful voice that comes easily to her without training. It seems to come straight from nature and nature itself pauses because her music is almost celestial (not the line of the mockingbird that stops singing) . This is quite a lyrical poem and one imagines what such a voice sounds like through Dunbar's words. You almost beg the poem to have some sort of an audio. A very majestic piece.

2 1 Reply
Grayce Grant 08 August 2008

My mother used to recite this poem at various social functions when I was a child. It brings back beautiful memories.

3 0 Reply

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