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Douglass Analysis



Author: Poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar Type: Poetry Views: 1269

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Ah, Douglass we have fall'n on evil days,

Such days as thou, not even thou didst know,

When thee, the eyes of that harsh long ago

Saw, salient, at the cross of devious ways,

And all the country heard thee with amaze.

Not ended then, the passionate ebb and flow,

The awful tide that battled to and fro;

We ride amid a tempest of dispraise.



Now, when the waves of swift dissension swarm,

And Honor, the strong pilot lieth stark,

Oh, for thy voice high-sounding o'er the storm,

For thy strong arm to guide the shivering bark,

The blast-defying power of thy form,

To give us comfort through the lonely dark.





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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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For those confused about the line ten of the poem, "And Honor, the strong pilot, lieth stark," honor is being personified by something that is lying down like someone who is dead, starkly. A good way to visualize this poem, in my opinion, is to look at the painting "The Raft of The Medusa" with Frederick Douglass as the person waving the cloth at the pinnacle of the pile of bodies.

| Posted on 2016-06-02 | by a guest


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i Think its about an ugly barnacle that was so ugly everybody died

| Posted on 2015-01-28 | by a guest


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sthis poem is about how even though america has gotten past its days of slavery, there are still dark days ahead. There is still racism and segregation that goes on, but Douglass will be the "pilot" that will lead them through this storm.

| Posted on 2014-11-16 | by a guest


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Douglass is to educated for me to understand. Some of the metaphors Dunbar uses seem to be from an archaic language.

| Posted on 2014-04-02 | by a guest


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This poem is written with apostrophe, meaning that the speaker is adressing someon who is dead. Basically, the narrator is telling Douglass that times have only gotten worse since Douglass\'last days. Segregation and discrimination is going strong, and whenever they find support it is beaten down by opposition as shown in the line \"The awful tide that battled to and fro\". The speeaker then starts talking about how he wished that Douglass was still here to lead the African American civil right movement through this storm while man\'s honor, the strong pilot, is left desolate. The speaker describes Douglass as being able to take evrything thrown at him and to stay strong, while also providing comfort to those who need it.

| Posted on 2012-03-27 | by a guest


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In this poem, Dunbar explains that African Americans have let the mistreatment get the better of them. He addresses Douglass to remember his strong words and hope it serves as a comforter \"through the lonely dark\". I believe it is douglass\' words that will serve as the \"pilot\" and be the \"voice high-sounding o\'er the storm\" (storm being segregation)

| Posted on 2012-02-05 | by a guest


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whoever didn\'t realize that Douglass was African American is a real idiot. How can you argue that poems have nothing to do with knowing the history about them without knowing the background you loose lots of insight.

| Posted on 2011-04-12 | by a guest


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Honor is the pilot that must guide them in the future- not Douglass (since the time of publication, usage of past tense, and elegizing apostrophe indicate he is already dead) and not a higher power like God (there are no overt religious tones in this work). Douglass is chosen here to represent past leadership in the first black civil rights movement, as he is not only a historically iconic figure but a very prominent, recent, and relevant influence (at the time) in the struggle against racial injustices. Dunbar recalls Douglass\' strength, hopes that it will serve as an example and beacon of hope in an era where forceful, widespread retaliation against African American advancement dims society\'s prospects for true equality and a future worth fighting for.

| Posted on 2011-04-10 | by a guest


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This poem expresses the pain of racial injustices after the Civil War. Douglass, as the great leader he was, is called upon for confort through this problem that America face.

| Posted on 2011-02-23 | by a guest


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I agree that the poem is about how america has gotten past slavery, but still has dark days ahead. That there is still racism and segregation going on, but i think that the \"pilot\" represents god or a higher power. Not a human individual or leader.

| Posted on 2011-01-17 | by a guest


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with a calm tone, the spearker is addressing Douglass of all that is wrong in the world. The speaker is saying that douglass u are so luckey that you have not come to see this day and i wish i were there with you but also that douglass you are the only one \"to give us comfort through the lonely dark.\"

| Posted on 2010-12-15 | by a guest


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\"yall are dumb and dont understand anything. douglass isnt white you idiot\"
\"ya\'ll\" is stating more then one person, so really you are the dumb one. And it doesnt even matter because this isnt a \"know your history poem\" its your own personal analysis on what you think the poem is about.

| Posted on 2010-12-07 | by a guest


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yall are dumb and dont understand anything. douglass isnt white you idiot

| Posted on 2010-10-28 | by a guest


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I dont like this poem, because I could barely understand the meaning of it. I know he speaks of slavery.

| Posted on 2010-03-10 | by a guest


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This poem was written after douglass's time. but dunbar wrote about it because it shows people have followed in douglass's footsteps. to lead us past slavery. not only did dunbar want to relate to african americans, but also to caucasian people such as douglass who was a great leader

| Posted on 2010-03-02 | by a guest


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I think douglass is a good poem that represents the struggles the African Americans had to endure during their time being slaves. On the other hand, it offers hope for the black community. Dunbar wants to let the reader know that one day someone will lead them out of this struggle and into their promise land.

| Posted on 2009-12-07 | by a guest


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But how can Douglass be the Pilot of such days because isn't the poem talking about future America, which is probably far beyond Douglass' time? Maybe they mean his ideals will be carried on through others who are similar to him, who share the same fierce feelings of opinion.

| Posted on 2009-10-26 | by a guest


.: :.

But how can Douglass be the Pilot of such days because isn't the poem talking about future America, which is probably far beyond Douglass' time? Maybe they mean his ideals will be carried on through others who are similar to him, who share the same fierce feelings of opinion.

| Posted on 2009-10-26 | by a guest


.: :.

this poem is about how even though america has gotten past its days of slavery, there are still dark days ahead. There is still racism and segregation that goes on, but Douglass will be the "pilot" that will lead them through this storm.

| Posted on 2009-06-03 | by a guest




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