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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Schedule of Round Up:
2 Laura at Laura Shovan
9 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
16 Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone
23 Kat at Kathryn Apel
30 Becky at Sloth Reads
6 Mary Lee at A(nother) Year of Reading
13 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
20 Carol at The Apples in My Orchard
27 Elisabeth at Unexpected Intersections
3 Heidi at my juicy little universe
10 Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect
17 Denise at Dare to Care
24 Laura at Laura Purdie Salas
1 Catherine at Reading to the Core
8 Irene at Live Your Poem
15 Bridget at wee words for wee ones
22 Jama at Jama's Alphabet Soup
29 Linda at TeacherDance
5 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
12 Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme
19 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
26 Ruth at there is no such thing as a God-forsaken town
3 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
10 Cathy at Merely Day by Day
17 Jone at Jone Rush MacCulloch
24 Buffy at Buffy Silverman
31 Carol at Carol's Corner