Signs of the Times

Original Text: 
The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar (New York: Dodd, Mead, and Co., 1913), Facsimile in The Collected Poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar, ed. Joanne M. Braxton (Charlottesville and London: University Press of Virginia, 1993), p. 77. PS 1556 AI 1993 Robarts Library.
1Air a-gittin' cool an' coolah,
2  Frost a-comin' in de night,
4  Possum keepin' out o' sight.
5Tu'key struttin' in de ba'nya'd,
7Keep on struttin', Mistah Tu'key,
8  Yo' do' know whut time it is.
9Cidah press commence a-squeakin'
10  Eatin' apples sto'ed away,
12  Huntin' aigs ermung de hay.
13Mistah Tu'key keep on gobblin'
14  At de geese a-flyin' souf,
15Oomph! dat bird do' know whut's comin';
16  Ef he did he'd shet his mouf.
17Pumpkin gittin' good an' yallah
18  Mek me open up my eyes;
19Seems lak it's a-lookin' at me
21Tu'key gobbler gwine 'roun' blowin',
22  Gwine 'roun' gibbin' sass an' slack;
23Keep on talkin', Mistah Tu'key,
24  You ain't seed no almanac.
25Fa'mer walkin' th'oo de ba'nya'd
26  Seein' how things is comin' on,
27Sees ef all de fowls is fatt'nin' --
29Hyeahs dat tu'key gobbler braggin',
30  Den his face break in a smile --
33Choppin' suet in de kitchen,
35Beef a-cookin' fu' de mince meat,
36  Spices groun' -- I smell 'em all.
37Look hyeah, Tu'key, stop dat gobblin',
39You ol' fool, yo' naik's in dangah,
40  Do' you know Thanksgibbin's hyeah?


3] Hicka': Hickory. Back to Line
6] Nary: Not Back to Line
11] Children swarming around like hornets
Hunting eggs among the hay. Back to Line
20] Just a laying there saying "Pies."
Turkey gobbler going around blowing Back to Line
28] sho's you bo'n: (as) sure as you're born Back to Line
31] Nebbah min': Never mind Back to Line
32] He's going (to) catch you in a while Back to Line
34] Stonin' raisins: Taking the seeds out of raisins Back to Line
38] Thanksgibbin's: November 27, a national holiday for Americans. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.