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A Lazy Day
Paul Laurence Dunbar


The trees bend down along the stream,
Where anchored swings my tiny boat.
The day is one to drowse and dream
And list the thrush's throttling note.
When music from his bosom bleeds
Among the river's rustling reeds.

No ripple stirs the placid pool,
When my adventurous line is cast,
A truce to sport, while clear and cool,
The mirrored clouds slide softly past.
The sky gives back a blue divine,
And all the world's wide wealth is mine.

A pickerel leaps, a bow of light,
The minnows shine from side to side.
The first faint breeze comes up the tide--
I pause with half uplifted oar,
While night drifts down to claim the shore.


This poem is in the public domain.



Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906) was from Ohio. He wrote his first poem at the age of six, was editor of his high school newspaper, and published his first book at twenty. His writing attracted attention from the very beginning, and Paul became well-known in both America and around the world. Like James Whitcomb Riley, who was a fan of his young contemporary's work, Paul wrote many of his poems in dialect. Besides a dozen books of poetry, Paul wrote four short story collections, five novels, a play, and the first  Broadway musical ever written and performed by African-Americans. A tremendously successful poet whose work was being published in all the major literary publications of his day, Paul's life was cut tragically short by tuberculosis.



Post New Comment:
Wilda Morris:
You can't miss with Dunbar's poems. This is wonderful!
Posted 06/28/2023 09:06 AM
Beyond beautiful. He was a great talent!
Posted 06/27/2023 07:42 PM
I love the "mirrored clouds" sliding softly past.
Posted 06/27/2023 11:15 AM
liz dolan:
A tribute to Paul and my childhood friend, Ann Dunbar, who also loved language.
Posted 06/27/2023 09:14 AM
Darrell Arnold:
I can see it, I can hear it, I can almost feel it. Those golden, quiet days out in, and surrounded by, God's natural world have been been multitudinous for me, and have always been my favorite days. Dunbar tells it all so well.
Posted 06/27/2023 08:22 AM
Larry Schug:
One of the best qualities of YDP is being exposed to the poetry of the past that I would never have discovered without your joyous work, Jayne. Like a great song, good poetry lasts forever and is new each time it is heard or read. Dunbar is a perfect example. Thank you so much.
Posted 06/27/2023 07:52 AM

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