Tuesday, August 2, 2011

If--- A poem

 I am sure that the title of this poem will immediately remind the name of Rudyard Kipling to most of this blog post readers. Who is Kipling? If you wondered, is a sign of lack of general knowledge. Kipling was famous author and poet who coined the historical phrase “The White Man’s Burden" in his poem of the later name. Kipling actually won the Nobel prize in literature in 1907. This is not a post about Kipling, thought I strongly suggest you read this Wikipedia article if I have aroused your interest. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudyard_Kipling

“If”, today’s poem, was written by the forgotten African American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar.  Dunbar was truly a creative genius though lesser known than Kipling due to racial prejudices of his time (which I will not discuss here.)   Please read this Wikipedia article about Dunbar,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Laurence_Dunbar
There are many things I could say about Dunbar, though I fear I might not be able to do him justice but his work will. Let us judge is genius by his verses.

                       If by Paul Laurence Dunbar

IF life were but a dream, my Love,
And death the waking time;
If day had not a beam, my Love,
And night had not a rhyme, —
A barren, barren world were this
Without one saving gleam;
I'd only ask that with a kiss
You'd wake me from the dream.
If dreaming were the sum of days,
And loving were the bane;
If battling for a wreath of bays
Could soothe a heart in pain, —
I'd scorn the meed of battle's might,
All other aims above
I'd choose the human's higher right,
To suffer and to love!