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.