Detailed view for the Book: Collected Poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar, The

Title:

Collected Poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar, The
 

Authors:

Genres:

Poetry

Editions:

# Date Publisher Binding Cover
1 1913-00-00  

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Blurb: 
This new "most complete" edition of the collected poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar, the virtual father of black American poetry, includes sixty poems not included in the previous—and now out of print—Complete Poems. Sixteen of these were found in manuscript form.
Paul Laurence Dunbar's work achieved wide recognition in the first part of the twentieth century. The author of six volumes of poetry, as well as novels, librettos, songs, and essays, he was nationally known and accepted by black and white readers alike.

The poet's influence has been far-reaching, and reaction to him, at times, controversial. In addition to creating musical renditions of black folk language, both comic and serious, he wrote lyrical poetry in standard English verse, inspired by Shakespeare, Shelley, Keats, Tennyson and the American romantics. Critics in Dunbar's day, however, led by William Dean Howells, noted only his comic dialect poetry, dismissing the standard English poetry and ignoring the subtlety and depth of the dialect work. Disagreements about the significance and meaning of Dunbar's poetry have continued through succeeding generations.

As Joanne M. Braxton points out in her substantive introduction to this edition, a reconsideration of Dunbar's work and influence is long overdue: "We reclaim, in Paul Laurence Dunbar, a significant American author whose career transcends race and locality even while he makes use of racialized and regional cultural materials to create an African-American aesthetic and a unique black poetic diction."

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