Poem of the Week “A Warm Day in Winter,” by Paul Laurence Dunbar

melting snow

Center for Poetry intern, Amy Potchen, gives insight about the choosing of the poem: “I could not think of a more perfect poem to fit the day in East Lansing. After what I hope is the largest snow storm of the winter, a day in the fourties seems almost uncomfortable. Paul Laurence Dunbar captures the feelings of today with his dialect heavy poem “A Warm day in Winter.”


A Warm Day in Winter


Paul Laurence Dunbar



Sunshine on de medders,

Greenness on de way;

Dat’s de blessed reason

I sing all de day.”

Look hyeah! Whut you axin’?

Whut meks me so merry?

‘Spect to see me sighin’

W’en hit’s wa’m in Febawary?


‘Long de stake an’ rider

Seen a robin set;

W’y hit ‘mence a-thawin’,

Groun’ is monst’ous wet.

Den you stan’ dah wond’rin’,

Lookin’ skeert an’ stary;

I’s a right to caper

W’en hit’s wa’m in Febawary.


Missis gone a-drivin’,

Mastah gone to shoot;

Ev’ry da’ky lazin’

In de sun to boot.

Qua’tah ‘s moughty pleasant,

Hangin’ ‘roun’ my Mary;

Cou’tin’ boun’ to prospah

W’en hit’s wa’m in Febawary.


Cidah look so pu’ty

Po’in’ f’om de jug–

Don’ you see it’s happy?

Hyeah it laffin’–glug?

Now’s de time fu’ people

Fu’ to try an’ bury

All dey grief an’ sorrer,

W’en hit’s wa’m in Febawary.


Dunbar, P.L. (1913). The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar. New York: Dodd, Mead, and Company.

Published by cpoetrymsu

The Center for Poetry opened in the fall of 2007 to encourage the reading, writing, and discussion of poetry and to create an awareness of the place and power of poetry in our everyday lives. We think about this in a number of ways, including through readings, shows, community outreach, and workshops. We are at work building a poetry community at MSU and in the greater Lansing area. Contact: cpoetry@msu.edu (517) 884-1932 http://www.poetry.rcah.msu.edu

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