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The .38 - Ted joans

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Kirstine Pilgaard

on 18 February 2015

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Transcript of The .38 - Ted joans

The .38 - Ted Joans
The poem is written by Ted Joans who is an American jazz poet, surrealist and artist.
Written in 1969

Speaker of the poem
The speaker is a male
Speaks in 1st person.
There is no conversation in the poem between persons. Its a flow of thoughts in the mind of the speaker.
Concentration of a single sense (sense of hearing)
The speaker in the poem highlights the sense of hearing. We are told almost everything that he can hear and in that way the story is delivered.
Examples: "I hear her head bounce from step to step" - "I hear it singe my skin as it enters my head The .38!!"
Language of the poem
The language is very direct as it doesn't hide any eerie details. Also the language contains a lot of violent phrases: "I hear the man down stairs slapping the hell out of his stupid wife."

In this way he maintains the interest of the readers. (We need to know what happens in the end)
Why is the "i" written in small letters?:
Written in small letters until the bullet is fired.
In the start the speaker is only a spectator and later becomes a part of the story.

Repetitions - "i hear", "my door", "The .38"
Chanting (the same start in some sentences and endings)
Increase in speed (block letters highlighted)
Mood and Tone
The mood of the speaker changes from calling her stupid in the start to pointing out her beautiful body.
The tone and the mood is very dark, violent and serious. You get a feeling of stress (the repetitions and block letters)
Style of the poem
The appearance of the poem is very disorderly. It becomes more messy along with the intensification of the story.
It's narrative and tells a story.

Title of the poem
Three persons
Two homicides by gun

The title of the poem is .38
Name of the gun
widely spread repetition (focus on gun culture)
Relating to gun culture - A way to tell its audience that weapons is a problem in Americans everyday life
Interpretation - What we think
We are not told the relation between the speaker and the two other persons in the poem.

We think:
Speaker lives in an apartment upstairs.
Wife affair with speaker
Husband claiming his revenge

Examples of the interpretation
Husband: "Damn you, i warned you, and now its too late!" - (sign of revenge)

Speaker: I hear him drag that beautiful body. (sign of relation)

The message
- Powerlessness vs. power
- Too easy to receive

Ted Joans
By Kirstine, Cecilia, Kasper & Regitze
Full transcript