April 17, 2014

Homework Help: English

Posted by Chris on Saturday, February 4, 2012 at 3:41pm.

I am trying to analyze this poem. It is called "On watching politicians perform at Martin Luther king's funeral".
It is by Etheridge Knight who is a black poet who was active mostly in the 60s and 70s.

Here is the poem.

Hypocrites shed tears
like shiny snake skins

words rolling
thru the southern air

the scent of flower
mingles with Jack Daniels
and Cutty Sark

the last snake skin slithers
to the floor where
black baptist feet
have danced in ecstasy

they turn
to begin

manicured fingers shufflung
the same stacked deck
with the ante

Ok so I understand that he is saying that the politicians aren't really sad and they are "performing" as the title suggests. I get that he is comparing them to snakes. But that is about it. I don't understand stanzas 3-6. Could someone please help me. I need to do a presentation on this poem.


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