This morning, I read a poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar, A Musical.
Dunbar “was one of the first African-American poets to gain national recognition. His parents Joshua and Matilda Murphy Dunbar were freed slaves from Kentucky. His parents separated shortly after his birth, but Dunbar would draw on their stories of plantation life throughout his writing career. By the age of fourteen, Dunbar had poems published in the Dayton Herald. While in high school he edited the Dayton Tattler, a short-lived black newspaper published by classmate Orville Wright.”
After reading A Musical, I was and am taken by the simple beauty of the poem’s first line, Outside the rain upon the street […]. I hope Mr. Dunbar would be happy to know his words inspired the poem I share below. Thank you, Mr. Dunbar.
Outside the Rain
Outside, the rain
upon the street
quiet explosions –
that terrible fire
in the dark sky.