- Year Published: 1913
- Language: English
- Country of Origin: United States of America
- Source: Dunbar, P.L. (1913). The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar. New York: Dodd, Mead, and Company.
- Flesch–Kincaid Level: 6.5
- Word Count: 123
Dunbar, P. (1913). The Poet and the Baby. Lyrics of the Hearthside (Lit2Go Edition). Retrieved January 17, 2022, from
Dunbar, Paul Laurence. "The Poet and the Baby." Lyrics of the Hearthside. Lit2Go Edition. 1913. Web. <>. January 17, 2022.
Paul Laurence Dunbar, "The Poet and the Baby," Lyrics of the Hearthside, Lit2Go Edition, (1913), accessed January 17, 2022,.
How’s a man to write a sonnet, can you tell,—
How’s he going to weave the dim, poetic spell,—
When a–toddling on the floor
Is the muse he must adore,
And this muse he loves, not wisely, but too well?
Now, to write a sonnet, every one allows,
One must always be as quiet as a mouse;
But to write one seems to me
Quite superfluous to be,
When you ‘ve got a little sonnet in the house.
Just a dainty little poem, true and fine,
That is full of love and life in every line,
Earnest, delicate, and sweet,
Altogether so complete
That I wonder what’s the use of writing mine.