Paul Laurence Dunbar was one of the first African Americans to receive national recognition as a poet. His parents, freed slaves from Kentucky, shared stories with him that inspired his writing career. A classmate of Orville Wright and a friend of Frederick Douglass, Dunbar tenaciously went after his dream to share his poetry and was labeled by Douglass as “the most promising young colored man in America.” Dunbar did, indeed, go on to publish numerous works, and in honor of the sweat-breaking temperatures here in the local area of Kingdom Winds, we invite you to enjoy one of his poems “Summer in the South.”
The oriole sings in the greening grove
As if he were half-way waiting,
The rosebuds peep from their hoods of green,
Timid and hesitating.
The rain comes down in a torrent sweep
And the nights smell warm and piney,
The garden thrives, but the tender shoots
Are yellow-green and tiny.
Then a flash of sun on a waiting hill,
Streams laugh that erst were quiet,
The sky smiles down with a dazzling blue
And the woods run mad with riot.
Featured Image By Mike Enerio