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The Player Piano Analysis



Author: Poetry of Randall Jarrell Type: Poetry Views: 273

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I ate pancakes one night in a Pancake House

Run by a lady my age. She was gay.

When I told her that I came from Pasadena

She laughed and said, "I lived in Pasadena

When Fatty Arbuckle drove the El Molino bus."I felt that I had met someone from home.

No, not Pasadena, Fatty Arbuckle.

Who's that? Oh, something that we had in common

Like -- like -- the false armistice. Piano rolls.

She told me her house was the first Pancake HouseEast of the Mississippi, and I showed her

A picture of my grandson. Going home --

Home to the hotel -- I began to hum,

"Smile a while, I bid you sad adieu,

When the clouds roll back I'll come to you."Let's brush our hair before we go to bed,

I say to the old friend who lives in my mirror.

I remember how I'd brush my mother's hair

Before she bobbed it. How long has it been

Since I hit my funnybone? had a scab on my knee?Here are Mother and Father in a photograph,

Father's holding me.... They both look so young.

I'm so much older than they are. Look at them,

Two babies with their baby. I don't blame you,

You weren't old enough to know any better;If I could I'd go back, sit down by you both,

And sign our true armistice: you weren't to blame.

I shut my eyes and there's our living room.

The piano's playing something by Chopin,

And Mother and Father and their little girlListen. Look, the keys go down by themselves!

I go over, hold my hands out, play I play --

If only, somehow, I had learned to live!

The three of us sit watching, as my waltz

Plays itself out a half-inch from my fingers.






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