like Robert and Elizabeth Browning, Paul Laurence Dunbar and his wife, Alice Ruth Moore insisted; like the English poets, they eloped against the wishes of disapproving parents. By the time of their marriage in 1898, Dunbar -- an appealing, dark-skinned dandy of a man -- had been anointed by the reigning critic, William Dean Howells, as the first American Negro to have ''evinced innate distinction in literature.'' Moore, a light-skinned beauty with hazel eyes and auburn hair, had, at the age of 20, published her first volume of writings in 1895, the same year that Dunbar saw her picture in a Boston magazine and fell precipitately in love.
Paula J. Giddings teaches black women's studies at Smith College. Her most recent book is a forthcoming biography of Ida B. Wells.
"Ida: A Sword Among Lions : Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching"
Amazon has it has not released?
Sonnet I used to love and love
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight.
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith,
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life ã and, if God choose,I shall but love thee better after death