Was talking with my new best friend Eric B. last night about the African American history and literature courses we took in our respective universities in undergrad.
And I was reminded of my attempt to be teacher's pet and recite the following poem we memorized in high school in front of about 200 people... until I was humbly brought back to Earth when I forgot the last stanza.
Dr. Walter Daniel didn't give me extra credit, but gave me the props for trying and not being embarassed to take a chance... But what a dork I was for forgetting the LAST stanza!
Anyway, it's a great poem written by one of our best we should know about... Paul Laurence Dunbar.
Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906)
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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