E. Ethelbert Miller asks: "Below is the first stanza of Dunbar's "We Wear The Mask." What do these lines of poetry mean to you?"
We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes, -
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties
I think it might be helpful for readers unfamiliar with this famous poem if we present "We Wear the Mask" in its entirely.