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Robert Colescott
Famous Last Words: Death of a Poet
1989
Wake Forest University
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THE DEATH OF A POET
by Charlie Finch



Robert Colescott’s painting Death of Poet depicts a handsome man with an enigmatic smile staring contentedly through his memories of a mixed-up, yet satisfying life. In its way, it recalls the celebrated poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, who died in his 30s of acute alcoholism, the booze having been prescribed by a doctor to treat Dunbar’s coughing from tuberculosis.

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