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Songs For A Colored Singer Analysis



Author: poem of Elizabeth Bishop Type: poem Views: 8

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                I



A washing hangs upon the line,

  but it's not mine.

None of the things that I can see  

  belong 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 backyard

  and 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 kind

  but he sure has an inquiring mind.

He's seen a lot; he's bound to see the rest,

  and if I protest

  

Le 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.



                II

                

The 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 face

  across the street at Flossie's place.

  He's drinking in the warm pink glow

  to 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 black

  I'll ride and ride and not come back.

  I'm going to go and take the bus

  and 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.



  

*Jukebox





                III

                

Lullaby.

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.



                IV



What'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 years

like 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 fruit

will grow from that conspiring root?



fruit or flower? It is a face.

Yes, a face.

In that dark and dreary place

each seed grows into a face.



Like an army in a dream

the faces seem,

darker, darker, like a dream.

They're too real to be a dream.






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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

I think this poem is written in a black womens voice, and is trying to express the difficulties of life. I think this becauae Elizabeth bishop was born in 1911 and grew up in that type of life and her literary movement was to modernise poetry. She once said\" Every new tendency in art has begun with a rebellion.\" Elizabeth bishop pressed the traditional ideas of race, class and gender relations.

| Posted on 2011-11-28 | by a guest




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