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Harlem Hopscotch

By Maya Angelou

zofia halka

on 28 October 2013

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Transcript of Harlem Hopscotch

Harlem Hopscotch
By Maya Angelou
Project by Zofia Halka and Tiana Mandala
One foot down, then hop! It's hot.
Good things for the ones that's got.
Everybody for hisself.
In the air, now both feet down.
Since you black, don't stick around.
Food is gone, the rent is due,
Curse and cry and then jump two.
All the people out of work,
Hold for three, then twist and jerk.
Cross the line, they count you out.
That's what hoppings al about.
Both feet flat, the game is done.
They think i lost. I think I won.
The speaker of this poem would most likely be someone living in the ghetto, watching the children of Harlem play a game of hopscotch.

She may be speaking to everyone and anyone willing to hear about what goes on in the daily lives of the people living in this town.
The situation of classism, poverty, and racism was meant to be clearly stated in this poem. Let it be known how this life here really is.
This which is happening now is taking place right now in the city of Harlem and others like it. More specifically during a nicer day where children would be seen playing outside.
The tone is rushed and stressed. But, overall, the speaker appears accepting of the situation.

Since you black, dont stick around.
Food is gone the rent is due,
Curse and cry and then jump two.
Hold for three, then twist and jerk.
The theme of this poem was that you don't need money and a high social status to be happy.
This imagery was used to see how the game (of hopscotch) is played.

One foot down then hop! It's hot.
Another jump, now to the left.
In the air now both feet down.
Curse and cry and then jump two.
Hold for three, then twist and jerk.
Cross the line, they count you out.
Both feet flat, the game is done.
The poem "Harlem Hopscorch" by Maya Angelou compares the game of hopscotch to a poverty-filled life. Each step in the game is like a step in life, especially for blacks facing poverty. Other people may think you lost the game or in other words, you have a bad life and they feel sorry for you. But these people themselves believe they won, because they are content with their lives and places in society.
Metaphor & Symbols
Conceit-one large metaphor stretched theoughout a whole piece of literature.

Our poem is a conceit because it compares the game of hopscotch to life in poverty. Therefore, hopscotch is also used as a symbol to represent this.
Our poem is an understatement. Hopscotch is an understatement when compared to life in poverty. The purpose of this is to make the reader feel sorry for people with poverty-filled lives by making it seem less bad than it really is.
Rhyme Scheme
The rhyme scheme of this poem is AA,BB,CC, etc. This connects to the theme of you don't need money to be happy. The people described in this poem have average lives, and nopt alot of money. The rhyme scheme in this poem stays the same throughout the whole poem and still overall conveys a good message.
Shelley stated that poetry was timeless. This is true in "Harlem Hopscotch" because the events taking place in the poem are still happening today.

Shelley also said that reasoning and imagination were crucial in poetry. The way Angelou compared hopscotch to life in the ghetto was an example of this.
Every line has seven sylables except for two.

Another jump, now to the left.
They think I lost. I think I won.

These two lines represent the main ideas of the poem. The first line represents struggles of a poverty-filled life and the last line shows how people facing poverty are okay with it.

The overall structure of the poem is couplets. This can possibly show that people faced with poverty do not feel any different or unusual. They think they have normal lives compared to the rest of the world. They are "in sync" with everyone else.
Criticism & Evaluation
We believe that this poem is a great poem that uses Shelley extremely well in it. It also does a great job of using conceit to compare the game of hopscotch to life. It provided many lessons to learn, one including money and power is not everything in life. It also shows us that hopscotch, like life, is a game and once you start you cannot finish. Also, you can easily mess up in the game of hopscotch and it could ruin the whole game. This same thing applies to life.
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