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JUMP BACK, HONEY by Paul Laurence Dunbar


The Poems of Paul Lawrence Dunbar

by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-7868-0464-5
Publisher: Disney-Jump at the Sun

PLB 0-7868-2406-9 Bryan, Carole Byard, Brian Pinkney, Jerry Pinkney, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, and Faith Ringgold pay tribute to Dunbar, a poet who heard the rhythms in everyday life and recorded them, e.g., “Jump back, honey, jump back” is what waiters called out to one another before coming out the swinging door of the kitchen into the dining room of a restaurant. Here, that phrase is part of “A Negro Love Song,” which Jerry Pinkney envisions as a young man and young woman at a garden gate. “Little Brown Baby” is a poem written for his father; “Dawn,” captures the quiet mystery of a new day: “An angel, robed in spotless white,/Bent down and kissed the sleeping Night./Night woke to blush; the sprite was gone./Men saw the blush and called it Dawn.” Readers will enjoy these poems and the variety of illustrative styles, but the words are even more meaningful if they are recited aloud. (Poetry. 5-9)