Analysis Of Coleridge Jackson

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Coleridge Jackson

Coleridge Jackson is a narrative poem written by a black American woman named Maya Angelou, she was born on April 4th, 1928 and lived throughout the struggle for black equality, the poem outlines the struggle of a black man who is belittled by his white boss, I think the poem was written to gain support and sympathy for black Americans in their steps for equality.

The first line is very powerful, it uses a statement of fact that immediately puts an image of coleridge in the readers mind, ''Coleridge Jackson had nothing to fear'' this statement is seems finite and irrefutable. The first stanza utilises facts and figures to amplify the size of Coleridge and the way the reader interprets him, this bulk, the reader would assume, would be used to protect his family, this is shown in the line ''Coleridge Jackson had nothing to fear, he weighed sixty pounds more than his sons and one hundred pounds more than his wife'' this numerical value also gives a clear indication of his size. The line ''The gents at the pool room walked gently in his presence'' further enhances this image and shows even the men in his own environment are intimidated by him, the use of this line also gives a feeling of community.

Coleridge is portrayed as a stubborn, proud and independent person in the line ''His neighbours knew he would not take tea for the fever'' this shows he dislikes to have to receive help specifically if it is bad, 'fever'. In this case the metaphorical fever is his inability to refrain from beating his family, this is a very sad fact.

The third stanza starts using the technique of involving outside interpretation to evaluate Coleridges situation '' So everyone used to wonder why...'' this is primarily used to include the reader in the poem and make them feel a part of the drama. This is also the stanza that the reader is enlightened to Coleridges dilemma, ''Coleridges puny boss, a little white bag of bones, frowned at Coleridge and sneered at him'', it later says ''when that skimpy piece of man meat called Coleridge a sorry nigger, Coleridge kept his lips closed, sealed, jammed tight'' this shows size is irrelevant in this battle as obviously Coleridge could harm his boss easily but does not, he keeps his mouth shut, he doesn't even murmur a retaliation.

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