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Analysis of Bucketwheat's Lament by Cornelius Eady

Updated on December 23, 2012

Cornelius Eady - Poem Author

Analysis

If you have not read the poem, please do so by clicking the link on the bottom. Read specifically "BUCKWHEAT's LAMENT" then come back and read the analysis.

This is a first person narrative about the troubles of growing old. From a gangster’s perspective, it isn’t about violence that he believes he will later grieve over but rather his friendships he formed during his gang days. “White gang” is explicitly made clear, as is “white girls”. “Hoo-doo” is form of African American folk magic tradition. In this line the speaker is using a hyphen to present the information that his hair might become all wavy and unmaintained. The end of the first stanza is the turning point. The speaker responds back to his families’ and “white girls’s” words. The word grown isn’t associated with maturity as it is normally, but with growing weak, stiff, and “skin going sour”.

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