Paul Laurence Dunbar Poems

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Paul Laurence Dunbar
Paul Laurence Dunbar (June 27, 1872 February 9, 1906) was a seminal American poet of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Dunbar gained national recognition for his 1896 Lyrics of a Lowly Life, one poem in the collection being Ode to Ethiopia. Dunbar was born in Dayton, Ohio to parents who had escaped from slavery; his father was a veteran of the American Civil War, having served in the 55th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment and the 5th Massachusetts Colored Cavalry Regiment. His parents instilled in him a love of learning and history. He was the only black student at Dayton Central High School and he participated actively as a student. During college, he was both the editor of the school newspaper and class president, as well as the president of the school literary society. He wrote his first poem at age 6 and gave his first public recital at age 9. Dunbar's first published work came in a newspaper put out by his high school friends Wilbur and Orville Wright, who owned a printing plant. The Wright Brothers later invested in the Dayton Tattler, a newspaper aimed at the black community, edited and published by Dunbar.

the face that launch'd a thousand ships
 
 
Was this the face that launch'd a thousand ships,
And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?
S... [read poem]
the passionate shepherd to his love
 
 
Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That valleys, groves... [read poem]
at the tavern
 
 
A lilt and a swing,
And a ditty to sing,
Or ever the night grow old;
The wi... [read poem]
the dilettante: a modern type
 
 
He scribbles some in prose and verse,
And now and then he prints it;
He paints a littl... [read poem]
to the city of london
 
 
London, thou art of town{.e}s A per se.
Soveraign of cities, semeliest in sight,... [read poem]
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