Signs of the Times

By Paul Laurence Dunbar 1872–1906 Paul Laurence Dunbar
Air a-gittin' cool an' coolah,
   Frost a-comin' in de night,
Hicka' nuts an' wa'nuts fallin',
   Possum keepin' out o' sight.
Tu'key struttin' in de ba'nya'd,
   Nary step so proud ez his;
Keep on struttin', Mistah Tu'key,
   Yo' do' know whut time it is.

Cidah press commence a-squeakin'
   Eatin' apples sto'ed away,
Chillun swa'min' 'roun' lak ho'nets,
   Huntin' aigs ermung de hay.
Mistah Tu'key keep on gobblin'
   At de geese a-flyin' souf,
Oomph! dat bird do' know whut's comin';
   Ef he did he'd shet his mouf.

Pumpkin gittin' good an' yallah
   Mek me open up my eyes;
Seems lak it's a-lookin' at me
   Jes' a-la'in' dah sayin' "Pies."
Tu'key gobbler gwine 'roun' blowin',
   Gwine 'roun' gibbin' sass an' slack;
Keep on talkin', Mistah Tu'key,
   You ain't seed no almanac.

Fa'mer walkin' th'oo de ba'nya'd
   Seein' how things is comin' on,
Sees ef all de fowls is fatt'nin'—
   Good times comin' sho's you bo'n.
Hyeahs dat tu'key gobbler braggin',
   Den his face break in a smile—
Nebbah min', you sassy rascal,
   He's gwine nab you atter while.

Choppin' suet in de kitchen,
   Stonin' raisins in de hall,
Beef a-cookin' fu' de mince meat,
   Spices groun'—I smell 'em all.
Look hyeah, Tu'key, stop dat gobblin',
   You ain' luned de sense ob feah,
You ol' fool, yo' naik's in dangah,
   Do' you know Thanksgibbin's hyeah?

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Poet Paul Laurence Dunbar 1872–1906

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Subjects Pets, Humor & Satire, Nature, Home Life, Arts & Sciences, Relationships, Fall

Holidays Thanksgiving

Poetic Terms Common Measure

 Paul  Laurence Dunbar

Biography

Paul Laurence Dunbar was one the first influential black poets in American literature. He enjoyed his greatest popularity in the early twentieth century following the publication of dialectic verse in collections such as Majors and Minors and Lyrics of Lowly Life. But the dialectic poems constitute only a small portion of Dunbar's canon, which is replete with novels, short stories, essays, and many poems in standard English. In . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Pets, Humor & Satire, Nature, Home Life, Arts & Sciences, Relationships, Fall

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Poetic Terms Common Measure

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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