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The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar Hardcover – 1913


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 289 pages
  • Publisher: Dodd Mead (1913)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000J3WJ3Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,568,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I love Paul Laurence Dunbar's poems.
sandra s.carpenter
The page numbers are apparently from an earlier edition of the book where the poems started on page 3.
Peter Formiller
This should be required reading for every student.
Sonia Lewis-elHafre

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Orrin C. Judd VINE VOICE on January 31, 2001
Format: Paperback
Paul Laurence Dunbar was the first great Black poet; Booker T. Washington called him the "Poet Laureate of the Negro Race". Dunbar, the son of ex-slaves, grew up in Dayton, OH, where he was friendly with the Wright Brothers. He had a successful high school career--founding editor of the school paper and elected class president of the predominantly white school--but upon graduation, he was forced to work as an elevator operator. His second book of poetry was praised by William Dean Howells and by age 24, he was one of the most renowned Black literary figures in America.
Dunbar wrote in two different styles. On the one hand, he wrote straightforward classic verse that was filled with racial pride:
THE COLORED SOLDIERS
IF the muse were mine to tempt it And my feeble voice were strong, If my tongue were trained to measures, I would sing a stirring song. I would sing a song heroic Of those noble sons of Ham, Of the gallant colored soldiers Who fought for Uncle Sam!
In the early days you scorned them, And with many a flip and flout Said "These battles are the white man's, And the whites will fight them out." Up the hills you fought and faltered, In the vales you strove and bled, While your ears still heard the thunder Of the foes' advancing tread.
Then distress fell on the nation, And the flag was drooping low; Should the dust pollute your banner? No! the nation shouted, No! So when War, in savage triumph, Spread abroad his funeral pall-- Then you called the co]ored soldiers, And they answered to your call.
And like hounds unleashed and eager For the life blood of the prey, Sprung they forth and bore them bravely In the thickest of the fray.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Peter Formiller on December 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dunbar's poetry is so good that it should be almost impossible to ruin a collection of his poems, yet somehow they've done it.

Start with the table of contents and the index of first lines. The page numbers are apparently from an earlier edition of the book where the poems started on page 3. In the present edition, the poems begin on page 23, so the page numbers given start out 20 pages off. But each page contains a few extra lines, so that when you try to find the poem Sympathy ("I know what the caged bird feels, alas!") on page 102 and you think "well, let's add 20" and look on page 122, no, wrong again. It's on page 112. So if you need to find a certain poem, go to the page number they give you, read the name of a poem that is actually on that page, look that poem up in the index, and compare the page number given in the index with the page it is actually on. That will tell you approximately how many pages away your poem is. As another example, you will find We Wear The Mask on page 85, not page 71. (On the principle that even a stopped clock is right twice a day, the poems that appear on pages 184 to 186 actually are correct. Poems from page 187 on are on lower page numbers than the number given, until they are 4 pages off by the end of the book.)

Typography? It appears to have been typed. With a typewriter. Remember typewriters? The titles of the poems are in capital letters, probably because typewriters didn't have boldface type. This compounds the pagination problem, because the titles do not stand out from the text. Sometimes the title of the poem is at the bottom of one page and the poem at the top of the next page.

And they didn't bother to put the title of the book on the spine, so good luck finding it on a bookshelf.

The phrase "High Quality" appears twice on the cover of this book. That's false advertising.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Matlock on February 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this because I like the poetry, and I like Dunbar.

This was especially good, from "Ione":
Love is a guest that comes, unbidden,
But, having come, asserts his right;
He will not be repressed nor hidden.

But by all that wonderful in this world, it was a struggle to read this poetry because the formatting and layout has been done so poorly. At times it was a struggle to read the poetry because the line breaks were so awkward. Page numbers are added INTO THE BODY OF THE POETRY ITSELF, smashed into the first word of a line. There are mistakes in the poetry due to either a poor OCR being used or because the editor wasn't paying attention.

That makes me sad and mad; sad, because this poet has some truly wonderful things to say, and mad because I just expect a higher level of professionalism to be paid to our American authors and the words they've written.

Truly, I'd give the author much higher marks, but I have to downgrade this edition as nearly unusable and quite unprofessional.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By He who knows, knows. on May 9, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great poetry! Detestable, distracting formatting.

I am so fed up with purchasing great classics from Amazon only to receive trash by the way the books are often formatted, page numbers randomly placed in the middle of the page in the middle of a poem, large double-spaced lines, line breaks that have nothing to do with the poet's original usage of line breaking, no page break or even a large white space between poems, and on and on.....

They have trashed great, important, transcendental poetry through sloppy, detestable formatting. You get what you pay for!
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