Happy Poetry Friday! Welcome to the ridge! I am excited to be hosting the round up this week. Thanks for visiting, and be sure to leave your link for others to enjoy!
This week, I would like to share a few poems by one of my favorite poets, Paul Laurence Dunbar. He is known for his dialectic poetry collections, novels, essays, short stories, and other poems. If you would like to learn more about his life and accomplishments, HERE is a link to an article with more information.
The two poems I would like to share are "Sympathy" and "We Wear the Mask." Enjoy!
BY PAUL LAURENCE DUNBAR
I know what the caged bird feels, alas!
When the sun is bright on the upland slopes;
When the wind stirs soft through the springing grass,
And the river flows like a stream of glass;
When the first bird sings and the first bud opes,
And the faint perfume from its chalice steals--
I know what the caged bird feels!
I know why the caged bird beats his wing
Till its blood is red on the cruel bars;
For he must fly back to his perch and cling
When he fain would be on the bough a-swing;
And a pain still throbs in the old, old scars
And they pulse again with a keener sting--
I know why he beats his wing!
I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,--
When he beats his bars and he would be free;
It is not a carol of joy or glee,
But a prayer that he sends from his heart’s deep core,
But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings--
I know why the caged bird sings!
Paul Laurence. Dunbar, "“Sympathy.”" from The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar. (New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, )
Source: Twentieth-Century American Poetry (2004)
We Wear the Mask
BY PAUL LAURENCE DUNBAR
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!
Paul Laurence. Dunbar, "“We Wear the Mask.”" from The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar. (New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, )
Invitation to Write:
A poet's words can often sustain us and change us all at once. With each word and line, our own emotions are unmasked. When we truly connect with a poem, it becomes a part of us. In this way, our favorite poems can be windows to our souls. Take some time to reread your favorite poems. Keep them close to you throughout the day. Memorize a line or the whole poem if you can. What do you value about these poems? How do the words of your favorite poems change you and sustain you?
Welcome! I'm Kiesha Shepard, and I have a love for writing and the teaching of writing. Whispers From the Ridge is a place where I can share my words and ideas for teaching writing. It's also a place for you to find inspiration for writing the words inside of you. I invite you into my world of writing as I capture the whispers from the ridge.
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3 Linda at A Word Edgewise
10 Ruth at There is no such thing a a God-forsaken town
17 Jan at Bookseedstudio w/optional theme: FLOAT
24 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
31 Catherine at Reading to the Core
7 Laura at Writing the World for Kids
14 Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone
21 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page
28 Heidi at my juicy little universe
4 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
11 Kiesha at Whispers From the Ridge
18 Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme
25 Jone at Deo Writer
2 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
9 Bridget at wee words for wee ones
16 Janice at Salt City Verse
23 Jama at Jama's Alphabet Soup
30 Linda at TeacherDance
6 Susan at Soul Blossom Living
13 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
20 Suzy at The Poetry Garden
27 Carol at Carol's Corner
4 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
11 Buffy at Buffy Silverman
18 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
25 Irene at Live Your Poem