The first African American poet to achieve international fame, Paul Laurence Dunbar used his prodigious literary gifts to chronicle and celebrate Black life as he saw it. He utilized both traditional poetic forms and contemporary dialect in a range of styles—lyrical, conversational, and playful—as diverse as his themes. This collection, containing the entirety of Dunbar’s poetry, captures his still vital expressions of love, work, and family. It also serves as a revelatory expression of Dunbar’s frustrations with racial injustice and oppression.
Joyous, mournful, firmly grounded, yet transcendent, Dunbar’s inventive work has been cited as a major influence by many contemporary poets.
Revised edition: Previously published as Lyrics of Lowly Life, Lyrics of the Hearthside, Humor and Dialect, Lyrics of Love and Laughter, Lyrics of Love and Sorrow, Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow, this edition of The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar (AmazonClassics Edition) includes editorial revisions.