A Golden Day | Study Guide

Paul Laurence Dunbar

Download a PDF to print or study offline.

Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "A Golden Day Study Guide." Course Hero. 22 Nov. 2020. Web. 28 Jan. 2022. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Golden-Day/>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2020, November 22). A Golden Day Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved January 28, 2022, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Golden-Day/

In text

(Course Hero, 2020)



Course Hero. "A Golden Day Study Guide." November 22, 2020. Accessed January 28, 2022. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Golden-Day/.


Course Hero, "A Golden Day Study Guide," November 22, 2020, accessed January 28, 2022, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Golden-Day/.

A Golden Day | Themes



The overall theme of "A Golden Day" is love. The speaker reflects on a love that he once had and lost. The speaker does not share how he lost this love, or who the love was. Rather, he describes how much he once loved and the happiness it brought him. He explicitly voices his love when he states "I found you and I loved you" in the third line of the second stanza. Even though he lost his love, he describes the happiness the love brought him. The speaker describes this gain and loss of love as having happened all in one day. This is wordplay that Dunbar uses to drive the idea that people must hold on to a good thing while it is still there and not have regrets.


The speaker shares his grief over losing a love that he once had. In the first line of the poem, he states "I found you, and I lost you" which introduces a painful tone. The speaker follows this line with descriptions of how happy this love made him. He uses figurative language in the subsequent lines and stanza to capture the beauty and depth of this love. In the third stanza, he repeats the line "I found you and I lost you" and follows it with more beautiful descriptions of their love. He ends the poem by commenting, "But when I dream of you, dear, / It is always bringing May." He embraces the memories and dreams of what they once had.


The speaker uses figurative language to describe the happiness that his lost love brought him. In lines three and four of the first stanza, he writes that "the day was filled with sunshine, / and the land was full of May." The speaker compares his love to sunshine and the month of May, and he shares memories of happiness brought by this love that he once had. The last two lines of the third stanza also lead readers to visualize his happiness. The speaker states, "But when I dream of you, dear, / It is always brimming May." These lines cleverly drive the idea that although the love was lost, the memories bring the speaker happiness.

Questions for Themes

View all
How would you explain how a good, loving and all-powerful God allows suffering and evil in his creation?
Tell us what the best piece of writing your ever read was. Why did you think so? What did it reach you so well? Was there something special about the description or detail? Did you like the writer's v
Briefly explain the opinions of two of Ravana’s brothers (Kumbakarna and Vibishana) during their council meeting.
to whom i should speak today meaning every stanza . please help me i badly needed this.
Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about A Golden Day? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!