Paul Laurence Dunbar, a Poet to Remember

by Patricia C. McKissack

published by Dobb, Mead and Company Inc. 1913

Book report and stamp artwork by Victoria H.

Paul Dunbar was born in Dayton, Ohio on June 27,1872 and died on 1906. Matilda, his mother was positive he could be anything, for he was born a free man. He had black hair and brown eyes. His father, Willis Murphy, was in the Union and died while at the war. In 1871 one year before Paul was born his mother married Joshua Dunbar. Paul Dunbar's first school was at Fifth District in Ohio. He liked to rhyme words so he wanted to be a poet. Two years later he moved and went to Third District in Kentucky. One year later he moved again, and went to Tenth District and stayed there.

Paul Dunbar was famous for being a black poet. It was a bad time for him to be born for they had just freeded the blacks and a few people still disliked blacks. Some of his poems include: "Ode to Ethiopia", "Sympathy", and "The Crisis." Some of his most famous poems were written in slave dialect, which is how slaves talked on the plantation. A few of them are: "The Party" (one of my favorites), "A Negro Love Song", "Jump Back, Honey, Jump Back", and "Little Brown Baby." He had poem books too, some of them are: Oak and Ivy, Majors and Minors, and Lyrics of Lowly Life. He also wrote one novel, The Uncalled, which is a light, romantic novel. He also started a newspaper called "The Tattler" which did not do so well and got canceled quickly.

This commemorative stamp has one of my most favorite poems of his on it "The Party." It is about him going to a party and telling about what happens during it. What they ate, how they looked, and how much fun they had. The peacock blue calligraphy pen is there because a poet always needs to use a pen for writing his rough drafts and final copies of his poems. This stamp includes Majors and Minors, Oak And Ivy, and Lyrics of Lowly Life. It has his newspaper too, "The Tattler." It also includes his novel The Uncalled. In the drawing of him he is in a black suit with a blue tie.

Victoria H. [Recorded comments - 28K]

[Return to top of report]

[Return to Book Report Index]