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The Lyrics Of Lowly Life Paperback – June 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Citadel (June 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806509228
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806509228
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,768,912 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Mazza HALL OF FAME on October 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
"Lyrics of Lowly Life," by Paul Laurence Dunbar, was first published in 1896. It was a milestone in the too-short life of Dunbar (1872-1906), a pioneering figure in African-American literature. In his introduction to "Lyrics," William Dean Howells notes that Dunbar portrays African-Americans "with humor, with sympathy, and yet with what the reader must instinctively feel to be entire truthfulness."
Dunbar's poetry generally falls into two groups: those written in a "high" literary English, and those which reproduce American vernacular speech (the "dialect pieces," as Howells calls them). Dunbar's gift is that he excels in both modes. He is adept at using a number of different meter and rhyme schemes; the best of his poems achieve a musicality and technical proficiency that compare favorably with the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe.
Yes, some of his poems seem quite dated today. They are often excessively sentimental and sometimes tediously conventional. But "Lyrics" is also full of some really outstanding, thought-provoking pieces. Consider "Frederick Douglass," a stirring tribute to the great African-American writer and activist; Dunbar follows 9 stanzas of iambic pentameter in an ABABCC rhyme scheme with a concluding ABABCCDD stanza. (Indeed, I find half the fun of reading Dunbar to be analyzing his diverse poetic structures.)
In poems like "Song" and "Ode to Ethiopia," Dunbar shows a pride in the African-American people.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Daisy on July 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
I was first introduced to the works of this remarkable poet in my American Literature high school class . My favorite and first Paul Laurence Dunbar poem is We Wear the Mask, and I have found that the rest of his poetry is just as honest and as well as heartbreaking. I would recommend this book of poetry to anyone because it does not just show the tragedy of slavery and effects on the soul of racism, but also represents the feelings of ostracism found anywhere.
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