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Bibliography. Original Poems. Sample Poems. Inspired Poems. List of Works. Biography. Paul Laurence Dunbar. Presentation by Katelyn Jipson. Bibliography. Original Poems. Sample Poems. Inspired Poems. List of Works. B i o g r a p h y. Biography. One Man Against the Majority

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paul laurence dunbar

Bibliography

Original Poems

Sample Poems

Inspired Poems

List of Works

Biography

Paul Laurence Dunbar

Presentation by Katelyn Jipson

b i o g r a p h y

Bibliography

Original Poems

Sample Poems

Inspired Poems

List of Works

Biography

Biography

One Man Against the Majority

"Paul Laurence Dunbar stands out as the first poet from the Negro race in the United States to show a combined mastery over poetic material and poetic technique, to reveal innate literary distinction in what he wrote, and to maintain a high level of performance. He was the first to rise to a height from which he could take a perspective view of his own race. He was the first to see objectively its humor, its superstitions, its short-comings; the first to feel sympathetically its heart-wounds, its yearnings, its aspirations, and to voice them all in a purely literary form" (“Paul Laurence Dunbar” 3).

These are the words of James Weldon Johnson, a friend who recognized Dunbar as being the most important African American poet of his time. Paul Laurence Dunbar is the son Joshua Dunbar, who was a former slave, Union soldier, and plasterer, and Matilda Glass Murphy, who was a former slave and laundress (“Paul Laurence Dunbar” 1). He was born in Dayton, Ohio on June 27, 1872 and died on February 9, 1906 at the age of thirty-three of tuberculosis (Revell 2, 9). His mother passed on her love for literature to Dunbar and taught him how to read. Both of his parents, though, would tell him stories about being slaves that would eventually be inspiration to much of his literary works (Revell 2). Dunbar’s childhood in Dayton was rather peaceful and fulfilling, and he grew up practically untouched by racism until after high school (Revell 2). He was elected president of the Philomathean Literary Society at his high school, and by his junior year of high school in 1889, he had already had published poems in the Dayton Herald (“Paul Laurence Dunbar” 3). One of Dunbar's former teachers invited Dunbar to the Western Association of Writers in 1892, where he met a man named James Newton Mathews, who eventually played a major role in the publication of Dunbar's first published work of poetry (“Paul Laurence Dunbar” 3).

b i o g r a p h y3

Bibliography

Original Poems

Sample Poems

Inspired Poems

List of Works

Biography

Biography

Dunbar always loved writing throughout his childhood and adolescent years, but as he got older, money and the fact that he was a black writer were the primary issues for him in actually publishing his works ("The Life of Paul Laurence Dunbar"). Dunbar published his first book of a collection of poems, entitled Oak and Ivy in 1892, but he received only a modest sum for the book. He had to continue with his job as an elevator operator to pay off debts to his publisher, and he would often sell his book for one dollar to passengers on the elevator he controlled ("The Life of Paul Laurence Dunbar"). Dunbar didn't have any additional schooling after high school because of limited money resources, so he had to work as an elevator boy while still constantly writing poems, short stories and novels (“Paul Laurence Dunbar” 4). Though, in 1899, he was given an honorary M.A. degree by Atlanta University (Revell 6). He often passed time reading poetry again and again by his favorite poets - William Shakespeare, Edgar Allen Poe, John Keats, and his all-time favorite, James Whitcomb Riley. Riley’s humor and dialect were rather influential to some of his later works of poetry (“Paul Laurence Dunbar” 3). After publishing Oak and Ivy, he also published a couple more collections of poetry, such as: Majors and Minors and Lyrics of a Lowly Life, which established Dunbar as America's foremost black poet (“Paul Laurence Dunbar” 5).

b i o g r a p h y4

Bibliography

Original Poems

Sample Poems

Inspired Poems

List of Works

Biography

Biography

The main theme of Dunbar's poetry and literary work is to express the life and soul of the people of his race (Revell 4). He discussed topics such as the depressing plight of blacks in American society in one of his most popular poems, "Sympathy" (Revell 3). In his books of collections of poetry, he sometimes used a dialect verse that was known as "Negro dialect". He became well-known for his dialect verse, and both black and white audiences alike took pleasure in reading his works of literature (Revell 3). Dunbar is very important to the world of literature because he took a huge step towards black and white equality in poetry. He let the people of America witness the lives of black citizens through his words, and they listened, making him the most important black poet in American literature (“Paul Laurence Dunbar” 6). Dunbar received a great deal of criticism and unfairness while trying to get jobs and publish his works because of his race, but later on the same factor made him famous. His powerful words about the feelings and experiences a black person went through every day during his lifetime shed light upon the subject, and he wasn't just another black man walking the streets complaining about his life ("The Life of Paul Laurence Dunbar"). He stood up and demanded attention be brought to an issue he knew wasn't right, and for that he will forever be remembered as the man who changed the lives of black poets forever.

l i s t of w o r k s

Bibliography

Original Poems

Sample Poems

Inspired Poems

List of Works

ListofWorks

Biography

“Accountability”

“The Unlucky Apple”

“The Haunted Oak”

“Summer in the South”

“To Dan”

“Old”

“The Made to Order Smile”

“Signs of the Times”

“Merry Autumn”

“The Lawyers' Ways”

“Distinction”

“Song”

“Howdy, Honey, Howdy”

“Theology”

“At the Tavern”

“The Barrier”

“The Old Front Gate”

“When All is Done”

More Poems by Paul Laurence Dunbar

“We Wear the Mask”

“Sympathy”

“Life's Tragedy”

“Encouragement”

“A Choice”

“A Negro Love Song”

“A Golden Day”

“Little Brown Baby”

“Confirmation”

“Morning”

“Ships that Pass in the Night”

“The Paradox”

“My Little March Girl”

“If I Could But Forget”

“Frederick Douglass”

“Common Things”

“Encouraged”

“The Debt”

s a m p l e p o e m s

Bibliography

Original Poems

Sample Poems

Inspired Poems

List of Works

SamplePoems

Biography

Analysis of “Life”

Life

By Paul Laurence Dunbar

A CRUST of bread and a corner to sleep in, A minute to smile and an hour to weep in, A pint of joy to a peck of trouble, And never a laugh but the moans come double;      And that is life!A crust and a corner that love makes precious, With a smile to warm and the tears to refresh us; And joy seems sweeter when cares come after, And a moan is the finest of foils for laughter;      And that is life!

a n a l y s i s

Bibliography

Original Poems

Sample Poems

Inspired Poems

List of Works

Analysis

Biography

Analysis of “Life”by Paul Laurence Dunbar

The poem, “Life”, by Paul Laurence Dunbar uses the literary element of hyperbole in an interesting way. This poem explains how life can seem very unfair at times with more hardships than happiness, but if you look at life with an optimistic view, even the most seemingly unfortunate events can be turned around for the better. There is a line in this poem that reads, “A minute to smile and an hour to weep in/ a pint of joy to a peck of trouble”. This line is representing the bad in life that most people tend to focus on. Another line later on in the poem, though, reads, “With a smile to warm and the tears to refresh us/ and joy seems sweeter when cares come after”. This line represents that not every unhappy period in life is what it seems, for sometimes if you look at the situation in another way or focus on the good, it will seem a lot better. The first lines mentioned represent the literary element of hyperbole by exaggerating the truth for emphasis. Truthfully, life does not only contain a minute of happiness to every hour of sadness, but Dunbar uses an hyperbole here to create emphasis on the contrast with the second stanza of the poem in which he explains how life’s hardships can bring contentment later on. This hyperbole impacts the poem as a whole by allowing people to develop a sense of hopefulness and faith that their lives, too, will turn around someday no matter how unpromising it seems at the time. Dunbar’s use of hyperbole in his poem, “Life”, creates encouragement for the people that feel life is never going to look up by showing people that even the worst situations in life can be optimistically turned around in the end.

s a m p l e p o e m s8

Bibliography

Original Poems

Sample Poems

Inspired Poems

List of Works

SamplePoems

Biography

"A Poem of Faith" by Paul Laurence Dunbar is about waiting for the good times to come in times of misfortune. Dunbar is saying that although your life doesn't look like it's going too well at the moment, you shouldn't let sorrow overtake you but wait for the good times to come. I really like this poem because it reminded me that even when I'm having the worst of days I should keep my head high or it will get worse. I especially like the line where Dunbar says, "Smile at old Fortune's adverse tide/ smile when the scoffers sneer and chide", because it takes a very strong person to cast off hurtful words of others.

A Poem of Faith

By Paul Laurence Dunbar

I think that though the clouds be dark,

That though the waves dash o'er the bark,

Yet after while the light will come,

And in calm waters safe at home

The bark will anchor.

Weep not, my sad-eyed, gray-robed maid,

Because your fairest blossoms fade,

That sorrow still o'erruns your cup,

And even though you root them up,

The weeds grow ranker.

For after while your tears shall cease,And sorrow shall give way to peace;The flowers shall bloom, the weeds shall die,And in that faith seen, by and by

Thy woes shall perish.Smile at old Fortune's adverse tide,Smile when the scoffers sneer and chide.Oh, not for you the gems That after while the that pale,And not for you the flowers that fail;Let this thought cherish:clouds will part,And then with joy the waiting heartShall feel the light come stealing in,That drives away the cloud of sinAnd breaks its power.And you shall burst your chrysalis,And wing away to realms of bliss,Untrammeled, pure, divinely free,Above all earth's anxietyFrom that same hour.

s a m p l e p o e m s9

Bibliography

Original Poems

Sample Poems

Inspired Poems

List of Works

SamplePoems

Biography

"We Wear the Mask" by Paul Laurence Dunbar is a powerful poem that describes how Dunbar and many other black people felt about racism going on during his time. He felt as if he was wearing a mask because of his skin color, and that he had to put on a façade for everyone around him. The line that says, "This debt we pay to human guile/ with torn and bleeding hearts we smile", creates a strong but distressing image in my head. This line shows how a black person during this time was truly not allowed to be himself or herself because of the terribly harsh racism going on everywhere around them.

We Wear the Mask

By Paul Laurence Dunbar

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!

i n s p i r e d p o e m s

Bibliography

Original Poems

Sample Poems

Inspired Poems

List of Works

InspiredPoems

Biography

Katelyn Jipson’s poem inspired by “A Death Song”

A Death Song

By Paul Laurence Dunbar

Lay me down beneaf de willers in de grass,Whah de branch 'll go a-singin' as it pass.          An' w'en I's a-layin' low,          I kin hyeah it as it goSingin', "Sleep, my honey, tekyo' res' at las'."Lay me nigh to whah hit meks a little pool,An' de watahstan's so quiet lak an' cool,          Whah de little birds in spring,Ust to come an' drink an' sing,An' de chillen waded on dey way to school.Let me settle w'en my shouldahsdrapsdey loadNigh enough to hyeah de noises in de road;          Fu' I t'ink de las' long res'Gwine to soothe my sperritbes'Ef I's layin' 'mong de t'ings I's allusknowed.

i n s p i r e d p o e m s11

Bibliography

Original Poems

Sample Poems

Inspired Poems

List of Works

InspiredPoems

Biography

Comfort

By Katelyn Jipson

Far away but not gone

Your soul has stayed behind

Sadness, pain, and loneliness now consume my heart

Crying for lost memories

Weeping for missed opportunities

Longing for your sweet comforts once again

But snapshots of moments with you

are filing through my brain

You were the one who always knew the safest way to go

Now that you're gone I wish I would have cherished more

Like every gentle touch and warm embrace

Reminding me of the overflowing

amount of love within you

You gave everything you had to others

And saved nothing for yourself

I know you're watching over me

In your home above the clouds

I know you'll be there on the good days or the bad

Only one short prayer away

So I am not sad anymore

You bring me comfort and joy

You had the greatest essence I ever knew

And I'll always have you on my mind

Far away but not gone

Your soul has stayed behind

i n s p i r e d p o e m s12

Bibliography

Original Poems

Sample Poems

Inspired Poems

List of Works

InspiredPoems

Biography

Katelyn Jipson’s poem inspired by “He Had His Dream”

He Had His Dream

By Paul Laurence Dunbar

He had his dream, and all through life,

Worked up to it through toil and strife.

Afloat fore'er before his eyes,

It colored for him all his skies:

The storm-cloud dark

Above his bark,

The calm and listless vault of blue

Took on its hopeful hue,

It tinctured every passing beam --

He had his dream.

He labored hard and failed at last,

His sails too weak to bear the blast,

The raging tempests tore away

And sent his beating bark astray.

But what cared he

For wind or sea!

He said, "The tempest will be short,

My bark will come to port."

He saw through every cloud a gleam --

He had his dream.

i n s p i r e d p o e m s13

Bibliography

Original Poems

Sample Poems

Inspired Poems

List of Works

InspiredPoems

Biography

Inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere

So dream as big and as often as you please

Dream to be yourself

And show the world everything you have to offer

Every part of you is special

And so is every thought you think

A dream is something sacred

But still it should be shared

Look for every opportunity in any situation

And don't shoot down the challenging ones

For anyone or anything could take you

One step

Closer

To your

Dream

A Dream

By Katelyn Jipson

He saw through every cloud a gleam—

He had his dream

A dream is too big to fit in your pocket

And too special to leave behind

Life brings many hardships and pain

But stay tough and fight your evils off with laughter

Dream with your heart and not your eyes

And if you stumble along the way

Well don't give up

Each dream is precious

A dream is like gas to your car

It pushes you through the long, winding road of life

Without a dream you have no goals

Without any goals you have no purpose

So believe in yourself and set your standards high

Don't let your disappointments slow you down

But use them as motivation to get stronger

o r g i n a l p o e m s

Bibliography

Original Poems

Sample Poems

Inspired Poems

List of Works

OrginalPoems

Biography

Dog Days

By Katelyn Jipson

Sniff sniff

I smell the grilling food

Sunglasses on, vibrant sky

Cool breeze flyin’ by

Grass is squishing between my toes

On the trampoline I strike a pose

Sun is beating on my skin

I see a spider and, eek! I cringe

Sweat drip dripping down my back

Like a sink left on, oh drat!

Bonfires and baseball games are coming to an end

I will never forget the summer of 2010

o r g i n a l p o e m s15

Bibliography

Original Poems

Sample Poems

Inspired Poems

List of Works

OrginalPoems

Biography

Friendship

By Katelyn Jipson

Someone who's oh so special

Who you hold right next your heart

The bond as strong as metal

No one will ever tear you apart

All your secrets are safe with them

No insecurities or holding back

You’re only yourself, no need to pretend

They're always the one to keep you on track

Never bored when you're together

Constantly reminiscing about the good times

Or talking about simple things such as the weather

So close you're practically partners in crime

A sister at heart, you're one in the same

Silly inside jokes keep you laughing to no end

Having fun is always your aim

They're not just anyone… they're your best friend!

b i b l i o g r a p h y

Bibliography

Original Poems

Sample Poems

Inspired Poems

List of Works

Bibliography

Biography

http://go.galegroup.com/ps/retrieve.do?sgHitCountType=None&sort=RELEVANCE&inPS=true&prodId=LitRC&userGroupName=west75013&tabID=T002&searchId=R1&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&contentSegment=&searchType=BasicSearchForm&currentPosition=1&contentSet=GALE%7CH1000027381&&docId=GALE|H1000027381&docType=GALE&role=LitRC (Biography)

http://go.galegroup.com/ps/retrieve.do?sgHitCountType=None&sort=RELEVANCE&inPS=true&prodId=LitRC&userGroupName=west75013&tabID=T002&searchId=R1&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&contentSegment=&searchType=BasicSearchForm&currentPosition=3&contentSet=GALE%7CH1200001086&&docId=GALE|H1200001086&docType=GALE&role=LitRC (Biography)

http://www.dunbarsite.org/biopld.asp (Biography)

http://www.dunbarsite.org/gallery/ADeathSong.asp (Inspired Poem)

http://www.dunbarsite.org/gallery/HeHadHisDream.asp (Inspired Poem)

http://www.dunbarsite.org/gallery/Life.asp (Analytical Para.)

http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/a-poem-of-faith/ (Intro. Para. 1)

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15888 (Intro. Para. 2)

http://www.poemhunter.com/paul-laurence-dunbar/ (Collection of Works)

b i b l i o g r a p h y17

Bibliography

Original Poems

Sample Poems

Inspired Poems

List of Works

Bibliography

Biography

Pictures

http://www.poemofquotes.com/paullaurencedunbar/

http://www.etftrends.com/2009/06/june-etf-performance-report/

http://www.flickr.com

http://www.masks-wigs-and-costumes.com/Masks/paper_mache.asp

http://bulgaria-photos.info/wallpapers1280.html

http://whil.us/hawaii.html

http://www.versebyverseministry.org/about/how_can_i_go_to_heaven/

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=1660&picture=bread-crust

http://www.nps.gov/daav/forkids/paullaurencedunbar.htm

http://www.studentsoftheworld.info/sites/society/amazing.php

http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/paul_laurence_dunbar/poems

http://www.poems-and-poetry.com/poets/paul-laurence-dunbar-poems

http://www.physicschick.com/pole/index_2008_jan.html