Black Poetry : "We Wear The Mask" by Paul Laurence Dunbar, 1896

Discussion in 'Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On!' started by skuderjaymes, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. skuderjaymes

    skuderjaymes Contextualizer Synthesizer MEMBER

    Country:
    Japan
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2009
    Messages:
    8,757
    Likes Received:
    5,870
    Occupation:
    independent thoughtist thinker, context linker
    Location:
    theory to application to discussion to percussion
    Ratings:
    +6,043
    We Wear the Mask

    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 over-wise,
    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!​
     
  2. HODEE

    HODEE Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2003
    Messages:
    4,909
    Likes Received:
    613
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    (RF) Technician
    Location:
    ( Alonewolf ) California.. by way of the LOU
    Ratings:
    +795
    Paul Laurence Dunbar

    Brother skuderjaymes
    I was read his poetry since I was three.
    Yes I recall some things that far back. My memory is pretty good.
    One of my sisters has a book of all his poetry.
    That book has become an issue, because it is believed to be lost.
    If another of my sisters find out that book still exist and is being with held there would be some :kick:ing and screaming.

    I like this particular poem because of what he was sharing and expressing.
    On line you can find discussions about this poem and it's line by line meanings and interpretations discussed over the years.

    Paul Laurence Dunbar wrote many of his poems in what is termed ebonics.

    But those poems are acclaimed and famous.

    That is an exert from one I grew up on.
     
  3. HODEE

    HODEE Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2003
    Messages:
    4,909
    Likes Received:
    613
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    (RF) Technician
    Location:
    ( Alonewolf ) California.. by way of the LOU
    Ratings:
    +795

    His eloquent writings and his use of Ebonics are appreciated all over the world
    The poem above I grew up with. It was one of favorites.
    :wave:
    His poetry is read all over the world.. check this out!​

    ===============


    Paul Laurence Dunbar - Little Brown Baby

    Little brown baby wif spa'klin' eyes,
    Come to yo' pappy an' set on his knee.
    What you been doin', suh -- makin' san' pies?
    Look at dat bib -- you's es du'ty ez me.
    Look at dat mouf -- dat's merlasses, I bet;
    Come hyeah, Maria, an' wipe off his han's.
    Bees gwine to ketch you an' eat you up yit,
    Bein' so sticky an sweet -- goodness lan's!
    Little brown baby wif spa'klin' eyes,
    Who's pappy's darlin' an' who's pappy's chile?
    Who is it all de day nevah once tries
    Fu' to be cross, er once loses dat smile?
    Whah did you git dem teef? My, you's a scamp!
    Whah did dat dimple come f'om in yo' chin?
    Pappy do' know you -- I b'lieves you's a tramp;
    Mammy, dis hyeah's some ol' straggler got in!

    Let's th'ow him outen de do' in de san',
    We do' want stragglers a-layin' 'roun' hyeah;
    Let's gin him 'way to de big buggah-man;
    I know he's hidin' erroun' hyeah right neah.
    Buggah-man, buggah-man, come in de do',
    Hyeah's a bad boy you kin have fu' to eat.
    Mammy an' pappy do' want him no mo',
    Swaller him down f'om his haid to his feet!

    Dah, now, I t'ought dat you'd hug me up close.
    Go back, ol' buggah, you sha'n't have dis boy.
    He ain't no tramp, ner no straggler, of co'se;
    He's pappy's pa'dner an' play-mate an' joy.
    Come to you' pallet now -- go to yo' res';
    Wisht you could allus know ease an' cleah skies;
    Wisht you could stay jes' a chile on my breas'--
    Little brown baby wif spa'klin' eyes!



    ================

    This poem is about the Black man and him being a slave!


     
  4. skuderjaymes

    skuderjaymes Contextualizer Synthesizer MEMBER

    Country:
    Japan
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2009
    Messages:
    8,757
    Likes Received:
    5,870
    Occupation:
    independent thoughtist thinker, context linker
    Location:
    theory to application to discussion to percussion
    Ratings:
    +6,043
    yeah.. I've been into his work for a minute myself..

    I go back and reread his work every now and then.. it's so surprising how hard
    it hits over 100 years later.. he really reached down into himself and expressed
    these things in a way that still communicates to his great grandchildren's
    generation.. that's something to strive for.
     
  5. Amnat77

    Amnat77 Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    5,428
    Likes Received:
    2,620
    Occupation:
    professional.
    Location:
    UK..not for long
    Ratings:
    +2,622
     
  6. HODEE

    HODEE Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2003
    Messages:
    4,909
    Likes Received:
    613
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    (RF) Technician
    Location:
    ( Alonewolf ) California.. by way of the LOU
    Ratings:
    +795
    BUMP
    ENJOY!​
     
  7. Fieldpea

    Fieldpea Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    Messages:
    664
    Likes Received:
    778
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    The 602
    Ratings:
    +778


    I was maybe 10 years old (5th grade) when us kids in my class were first exposed to We Wear The Mask. Mrs. Williams, our teacher, had us write at least a 2 paragraph essay on what this poem meant.


    This one and Caged Bird, too. Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks and the lady who wrote the poem about *life ain't been no crystal stair*--something like this--I can't remember her name, off-hand.


    Of all of the poetry we 10 year olds were exposed to, this poem, Langston Hughes' Dream Deferred, and We Real Cool by Gwendolyn Brooks are the poems that I'll sometimes just 'up and recite'--these are the poems that kind of *won me over*--made me appreciate the possibilities (hard for me to explain) took me from uninterested kid and made me love poetry, I guess.


    There's something special about We Wear The Mask, though. It's an entire book, an entire lifetime, and countless generations *of us* expressed in just a paltry handful of words. Cleanly and purely stated to me--from age 10 even to this day.


    BRILLIANT stuff!


    One Love, and PEACE
     
  8. Fieldpea

    Fieldpea Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    Messages:
    664
    Likes Received:
    778
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    The 602
    Ratings:
    +778


    I need to fix:


    Not the lady who wrote *life ain't been no crystal stair*, but LANGSTON HUGHES again...lol:


    Mother to Son
    BY LANGSTON HUGHES
    Well, son, I’ll tell you:
    Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
    It’s had tacks in it,
    And splinters,
    And boards torn up,
    And places with no carpet on the floor—
    Bare.
    But all the time
    I’se been a-climbin’ on,
    And reachin’ landin’s,
    And turnin’ corners,
    And sometimes goin’ in the dark
    Where there ain’t been no light.
    So boy, don’t you turn back.
    Don’t you set down on the steps
    ’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
    Don’t you fall now—
    For I’se still goin’, honey,
    I’se still climbin’,
    And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.


    One Love, and PEACE
     
Loading...

Users found this page by searching for:

  1. dont you dare touch thwm rolls poem

    ,
  2. No use turnin to that wall. I can hear that mattress squeeze Dont you hear

    ,
  3. We Wear the Mask (1896)