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Overview

Paul Laurence Dunbar was “the most promising young colored man” in nineteenth-century America, according to Frederick Douglass, and subsequently one of the most controversial. His plantation lyrics, written while he was an elevator boy in Ohio, established Dunbar as the premier writer of dialect poetry and garnered him international recognition. More than a vernacular lyricist, Dunbar was also a master of classical poetic forms, who helped demonstrate to post–Civil War America that literary genius did not reside ...
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Selected Poems

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Overview

Paul Laurence Dunbar was “the most promising young colored man” in nineteenth-century America, according to Frederick Douglass, and subsequently one of the most controversial. His plantation lyrics, written while he was an elevator boy in Ohio, established Dunbar as the premier writer of dialect poetry and garnered him international recognition. More than a vernacular lyricist, Dunbar was also a master of classical poetic forms, who helped demonstrate to post–Civil War America that literary genius did not reside solely in artists of European descent. William Dean Howells called Dunbar’s dialect poems “evidence of the essential unity of the human race, which does not think or feel black in one and white in another, but humanly in all.”


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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101177310
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 3/30/2004
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 1,187,938
  • File size: 447 KB

Meet the Author

Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872—1906) was born to two former slaves. While working as an elevator operator, he published his first poetry collection. His second collection in 1895 thrust him into the national spotlight and garnered praise from the white and black elite. He ultimately produced twelve books of poetry, several stories and plays, and five novels.

Herbert Woodward Martin is a professor at the University of Dayton. He is an active fan and promoter of Dunbar's work.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xi
Bibliography xxvii
Suggestions for Further Reading xxix
From Oak and Ivy (1893)
A Banjo Song 3
A Career 5
Columbian Ode 6
James Whitcomb Riley 7
Life 8
Lullaby 9
Melancholia 10
My Sort o' Man 12
Ode to Ethiopia 14
Sympathy 15
The Ol' Tunes 16
The Seedling 18
From Majors and Minors (1895)
After the Quarrel 23
Alice 24
Ballad 24
By the Stream 25
The Change Has Come 26
Changing Time 26
The Colored Soldiers 27
A Corn-Song 29
Dawn 31
Dirge 31
Disappointed 32
Ere Sleep Comes Down to Soothe the Weary Eyes 33
Frederick Douglass 35
A Frolic 37
He Had His Dream 38
Hymn 38
Invitation to Love 39
Ione 40
The Master-Player 48
Ode for Memorial Day 48
One Life 49
The Poet and His Song 50
A Prayer 52
Retort 52
Ships That Pass in the Night 53
A Summer's Night 53
We Wear the Mask 54
To Pfrimmer 54
From Lyrics of Lowly Life (1896)
Accountability 59
An Ante-Bellum Sermon 60
The Corn-Stalk Fiddle 62
The Lawyers' Ways 64
Religion 65
After a Visit 65
The Spellin'-Bee 66
Keep A-Pluggin' Away 70
An Easy-Goin' Feller 71
The Wooing 72
When de Co'n Pone's Hot 73
Discovered 75
The Delinquent 76
A Confidence 77
The Party 79
From Poems of Cabin and Field (1899)
The Deserted Plantation 87
Little Brown Baby 88
Chrismus Is A-Comin' 89
From Lyrics of the Hearthside (1899)
Love's Apotheosis 93
The Paradox 94
The Right to Die 95
Behind the Arras 96
A Hymn 96
Dream Song I 97
Dream Song II 97
The King Is Dead 98
Theology 99
Resignation 99
Thou Art My Lute 99
The Phantom Kiss 100
The Crisis 101
Alexander Crummell Dead 102
Sonnet 102
Misapprehension 103
For the Man Who Fails 103
Harriet Beecher Stowe 104
The Warrior's Prayer 105
The Voice of the Banjo 106
A Choice 107
The Real Question 107
Jilted 108
Chrismus on the Plantation 109
Foolin' wid de Seasons 110
A Death Song 112
Jealous 112
Parted 113
A Letter 114
At Candle-Lightin' Time 116
How Lucy Backslid 117
Protest 121
From When Malindy Sings (1903)
When Malindy Sings 125
The Colored Band 127
The Memory of Martha 128
The Tryst 129
The Boogah Man 130
Noddin' by de Fire 131
My Sweet Brown Gal 133
In the Morning 134
The Plantation Child's Lullaby 135
Curiosity 137
Opportunity 138
Puttin' the Baby Away 139
Faith 140
The Fisher Child's Lullaby 141
From Lyrics of Love and Laughter (1903)
Joggin' Erlong 145
In May 146
Dreams 146
The Dove 147
The Valse 147
Song 148
Inspiration 149
When Dey 'Listed Colored Soldiers 149
Lincoln 151
To a Captious Critic 151
The Poet 152
A Spiritual 152
W'en I Gits Home 153
The Unsung Heroes 154
The Pool 156
Speakin' at de Cou't House 156
Black Samson of Brandywine 158
Douglass 159
Booker T. Washington 160
Philosophy 160
The Debt 161
By Rugged Ways 161
To the South 163
The Haunted Oak 166
Weltschmertz 168
Robert Gould Shaw 169
A Love Song 170
A Negro Love Song 171
The Fount of Tears 172
At the Tavern 173
From Li'l' Gal (1904)
Li'l' Gal 177
A Plea 178
Soliloquy of a Turkey 178
When Sam'l Sings 180
From Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow (1905)
A Boy's Summer Song 185
The Sand-Man 186
Johnny Speaks 186
Scamp 187
A Christmas Folksong 188
The Farm Child's Lullaby 189
Hope 190
The Awakening 191
A Musical 191
Twell de Night Is Pas' 192
Compensation 192
Anchored 193
Yesterday and To-morrow 193
At Sunset Time 194
At Loafing-Holt 195
When a Feller's Itchin' to Be Spanked 196
A Love Letter 197
Trouble in de Kitchen 198
The Quilting 199
Forever 199
Parted 200
Christmas 200
From Howdy, Honey, Howdy (1905)
"Howdy, Honey, Howdy!" 205
Encouragement 205
Twilight 207
From Joggin' Erlong (1906)
The Capture 211
Uncollected Poems
Emancipation 215
Welcome Address 216
Comrade 217
Love Is a Star 219
The Making Up 219
A Toast to Dayton 220
Sold A C.H.S. Episode 220
After the Struggle 221
The Builder 221
Lullaby (II) 222
Index of Titles 225
Index of First Lines 231
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