When de Co'n Pone's Hot

By Paul Laurence Dunbar 1872–1906 Paul Laurence Dunbar
Dey is times in life when Nature
   Seems to slip a cog an' go,
Jes' a-rattlin' down creation,
   Lak an ocean's overflow;
When de worl' jes' stahts a-spinnin'
   Lak a picaninny's top,
An' yo' cup o' joy is brimmin'
   'Twell it seems about to slop,
An' you feel jes' lak a racah,
   Dat is trainin' fu' to trot—
When yo' mammy says de blessin'
   An' de co'n pone's hot.

When you set down at de table,
   Kin' o' weary lak an' sad,
An' you 'se jes' a little tiahed
   An' purhaps a little mad;
How yo' gloom tu'ns into gladness,
   How yo' joy drives out de doubt
When de oven do' is opened,
   An' de smell comes po'in' out;
Why, de 'lectric light o' Heaven
   Seems to settle on de spot,
When yo' mammy says de blessin'
   An' de co'n pone's hot.

When de cabbage pot is steamin'
   An' de bacon good an' fat,
When de chittlins is a-sputter'n'
   So's to show you whah dey's at;
Tek away yo' sody biscuit,
   Tek away yo' cake an' pie,
Fu' de glory time is comin',
   An' it's 'proachin' mighty nigh,
An' you want to jump an' hollah,
   Dough you know you'd bettah not,
When yo' mammy says de blessin'
   An' de co'n pone's hot.

I have hyeahd a' lots o' sermons,
   An' I've hyeahd o' lots o' prayers,
An I've listened to some singin'
   Dat has tuck me up de stairs
Of de Glory-Lan' an' set me
   Jes' below de Mastah's th'one,
An' have lef' my hea't a-singin'
   In a happy aftah tone;
But dem wu'ds so sweetly murmured
   Seem to tech de softes' spot,
When my mammy says de blessin',
   An' de co'n pone's hot.

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Poet Paul Laurence Dunbar 1872–1906

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Subjects Home Life, Relationships, Eating & Drinking, Social Commentaries, Race & Ethnicity, Activities

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 Home Life, Relationships, Eating & Drinking, Social Commentaries, Race & Ethnicity, Activities

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Poetic Terms Common Measure

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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