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Songs For A Colored Singer Analysis



Author: Poetry of Elizabeth Bishop Type: Poetry Views: 191

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North & South1946IA washing hangs upon the line,but it's not mine.None of the things that I can seebelong to me.The neighbors got a radio with an aerial;we got a little portable.They got a lot of closet space;we got a suitcase.I say, "Le Roy, just how much are we owing?

Something I can't comprehend,

the more we got the more we spend...."

He only answers, "Let's get going."

Le Roy, you're earning too much money now.I sit and look at our backyardand find it very hard.

What have we got for all his dollars and cents?--A pile of bottles by the fence.

He's faithful and he's kindbut he sure has an inquiring mind.

He's seen a lot; he's bound to see the rest,and if I protestLe Roy answers with a frown,

"Darling, when I earns I spends.

The world is wide; it still extends....

I'm going to get a job in the next town."

Le Roy, you're earning too much money now.IIThe time has come to call a halt;and so it ends.He's gone off with his other friends.He needn't try to make amends,

this occasion's all his fault.Through rain and dark I see his faceacross the street at Flossie's place.He's drinking in the warm pink glowto th' accompaniment of the piccolo.*The time has come to call a halt.

I met him walking with Varella

and hit him twice with my umbrella.

Perhaps that occasion was my fault,

but the time has come to call a halt.Go drink your wine and go get tight.Let the piccolo play.I'm sick of all your fussing anyway.Now I'm pursuing my own way.

I'm leaving on the bus tonight.Far down the highway wet and blackI'll ride and ride and not come back.I'm going to go and take the busand find someone monogamous.The time has come to call a halt.

I've borrowed fifteen dollars fare

and it will take me anywhere.

For this occasion's all his fault.

The time has come to call a halt.*<small>Jukebox</small>IIILullaby.

Adult and child

sink to their rest.

At sea the big ship sinks and dies,

lead in its breast.Lullaby.

Let mations rage,

let nations fall.

The shadow of the crib makes an enormous cage

upon the wall.Lullaby.

Sleep on and on,

war's over soon.

Drop the silly, harmless toy,

pick up the moon.Lullaby.

If they should say

you have no sense,

don't you mind them; it won't make

much difference.Lullaby.

Adult and child

sink to their rest.

At sea the big ship sinks and dies,

lead in its breast.IVWhat's that shining in the leaves,the shadowy leaves,like tears when somebody grieves,shining, shining in the leaves?Is it dew or is it tears,dew or tears,hanging there for years and yearslike a heavy dew of tears?Then that dew begins to fall,roll down and fall,Maybe it's not tears at all.See it, see it roll and fall.Hear it falling on the ground,hear, all around.That is not a tearful sound,beating, beating on the ground.See it lying there like seeds,like black seeds.see it taking root like weeds,faster, faster than the weeds,all the shining seeds take root,conspiring root,and what curious flower or fruitwill grow from that conspiring root?fruit or flower? It is a face.Yes, a face.In that dark and dreary placeeach seed grows into a face.Like an army in a dreamthe faces seem,darker, darker, like a dream.They're too real to be a dream.





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