Intimate Intercessions In The Poetry Of Paul Laurence Dunbar

435 Words2 Pages
Born on June 27, 1872, Paul Laurence Dunbar is one of the few greatest African American poets of his time. Paul Laurence Dunbar is responsible for a great deal of poetry, including “Sympathy” as an exclamation for independence. Surprisingly, Dunbar was one of the first poets to write in both English and African American dialect which appealed to both. Like most of Dunbar’s works, Sympathy, according to English professor, Joanne Gabbin in his analysis, “Intimate Intercessions in the Poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar” states: “…the inevitable theme of African American literature since black poets tried to sing in a strange land” (228). The form of Dunbar’s poem is consistent, echoing the same plea of sympathy he has towards the captive bird, who greatly…show more content…
Legally, African Americans were not held to the same standards until they were granted freedom to vote in 1865 (James Weldon Johnson). At the age of 14, Dunbar published his first poem, but fanatically could not provide the expenses to get into an academic institution, leaving him to toil as an elevator operator till seven years later, a former teacher offered him a position to present his poetry at the Western Association of Writers. After publishing many works, he was disapproved for being pro-white a in his writings, and did not receive significant recognition until the second-half of the 20th century (Christine A. Wooley in: “African American Review”). Paul Laurence Dunbar is one of the few greatest African American poets of his time and was well known for many works. From the interpretation of the audience, Dunbar and his strong desire to be free is greatly expressed through his poem: “Sympathy” and his relationship with the caged bird who only wishes to be
Open Document