Friday Night Poetry Corner #196–We Wear the Mask by Paul Laurence Dunbar



Hey everyone!  I am back for another Poetry Corner.  My apologies for the extreme lateness.  I have company in town for the weekend and the days seem to have gotten away from me…


Nevertheless, we will continue to honor African American poets for the remainder of this month.  Next is a fantastic poet, this gentleman of esteem is named Paul Laurence Dunbar and his poem–We Wear the Mask is nothing to sleep on.  Enjoy this work and please read more about him when you can!



We Wear the Mask

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.
Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
       We wear the mask.
We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
       We wear the mask!

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