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Blessing the Boats - From New Poems (2000), "jasper texas 1998" Summary & Analysis

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From New Poems (2000), "jasper texas 1998" Summary

This poem is subtitled "for j.byrd," shortened name for James Bird, a fifty-year-old black man who was fastened to a logging chain to a pickup truck and dragged three miles in Jasper, Texas. During the ordeal, Bird was torn to pieces, including his head being torn off. This was an unspeakable crime that took a long time to punish the perpetrators. Calling him "j. byrd" is a tender naming, sounding like a nickname, "jaybird."

The first verse speaks from the point of view of first person, the man's head, chosen to speak for all the other torn members of the body, such as the arm that was torn off, still pointing toward the head, such as the hand that "opened once" in agony and was torn off. The second verse...

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This section contains 458 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Blessing the Boats Study Guide
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