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analysis of X.J. Kennedy "In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus One Day"
Posted by: AlexandriaTx (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: September 12, 2004 06:41PM

can anyone proofread my introduction to my paper

Poetry can be quite an effective method for conveying the feelings, thoughts, and moral character of human beings. THe poet must within a narrow number of lines present the theme of their work to the reader. In his poem, "In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus One Day," the poet X.J. Kennedy presents a comical character set against the background of what feels almost like a theatrical setting to impart a lesson on regret and poor choices in life to the reader.


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Re: analysis of X.J. Kennedy "In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus One Day"
Posted by: IanB (---.tnt11.mel1.da.uu.net)
Date: September 13, 2004 07:05AM

I don't know the X.J.Kennedy work, but if you are asking for suggested improvements in expression, being finicky I would suggest:

In the first sentence, delete 'quite' [It enfeebles your assertion without adding meaning].

In the second sentence, find a better word than 'narrow' to describe 'number' [perhaps 'limited'. Numbers aren't 'narrow'.]

Also, change 'the theme of their work' to 'a work's theme' [to avoid using the plural 'their' for singular 'poet', which is acceptable in casual use, but not in a formal paper].

In the third sentence, delete 'to the reader' [No need to repeat that phrase. Once said, it remains implied.]


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Re: analysis of X.J. Kennedy "In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus One Day"
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-05rh15-16rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: September 13, 2004 12:04PM

In a prominent bar in Secaucus one day
Rose a lady in skunk with a top-heavy sway
Raised a knobby red finger - all turned from their beer -
While with eyes bright as snowcrust she sang high and clear

Now who of you'd think from an eyeload of me
That I once was a lady as proud as can be?
Oh I'd never sit down by a tumble-down drunk
If it wasn't, my dears, for the high cost of junk.

All the gents used to swear that the white of my calf
Beat the down of a swan by a length and a half
In the kerchief of linen I caught to my nose
Ah, there never fell snot, but a little gold rose.

I had seven gold teeth and a toothpick of gold
My Virginia cheroot with a leaf it was rolled
And I'd light it each time with a thousand in cash
Why the bums used to fight if I flicked them an ash

Once the toast of the Biltmore, the belle of the Taft
I would drink bottle beer at the Drake, never draft
And dine at the Astor on Salisbury Steak
With a clean table cloth for each bite I would take

In a car like the roxy, I'd roll to the track
A steel-guitar trio, a bar in the back
And the wheels made no noise, they turned ever so fast
Still it took you ten minutes to see me go past

When the horses bowed down to me that I might choose
I bet on them all for I hated to lose
Now I'm saddle each night for my butter and eggs
And the broken threads race down the backs of my legs

Let you hold in mind girls that your beauty must pass
Like a lovely white clover that rusts with its grass
Keep your bottoms off bar stools and marry your young
Or be left - an old barrel with many a bung

For when time takes you out for a spin in his car
You'll be hard-pressed to stop him from going too far
And be left by the roadside, for all your good deeds
Two toadstools for tits and a face full of weeds

All the house raised a cheer, but the man at the bar
Made a phone call and up pulled a red patrol car
And she blew us a kiss as he copped her away
From that prominent bar in Secaucus NJ


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Re: analysis of X.J. Kennedy "In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus One Day"
Posted by: Pam Adams (---.bus.csupomona.edu)
Date: September 13, 2004 03:35PM

Alexandria,

You've got some tense disagreement in the second sentence. It should either be

"Poets must within a narrow number of lines present the theme of their work to the reader."

or

"The poet must within a narrow number of lines present the theme of his or her work to the reader."


My preference would be for this one: "Poets must present the theme of their work to the reader within a narrow number of lines."

pam


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Re: analysis of X.J. Kennedy "In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus One Day"
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.phoenix-01rh15-16rt.az.dial-access.att.net)
Date: September 14, 2004 11:21AM

I saw that one also but, reading contemporary opinions on English usage, it appears to be an acceptable variation. Still, to maintain my usual level of fastidious pedantry, I will note that the comma inside parentheses is an error, at least in merkin construction.


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Re: analysis of X.J. Kennedy "In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus One Day"
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-02rh15-16rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: September 14, 2004 12:38PM

Since there are in fact no parentheses in the paragraph, it would be difficult to have a comma inside them. Should be in quotes, sorry. Always happens to those of us who insist on being fastidiously pedantic.


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Re: analysis of X.J. Kennedy "In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus One Day"
Posted by: IanB (---.tnt11.mel1.da.uu.net)
Date: September 15, 2004 08:25AM

Thanks, Hugh, for posting the poem.

Assuming it came from some website, and playing my usual game of spot-the-little-marker-errors-inserted-by-the-website-controller, I compared it with a version quoted on the Internet from a recent Dell publication 'Fifty Years of American Poetry' and spotted five significant differences and lots of insignificant differences including punctuation.

Dell has 'saddled' instead of 'saddle' in stanza 7, and 'marry you young' instead of 'marry your young' in stanza 8. Dell is surely correct with those. On the other hand, Dell is surely wrong in having 'roadsite' instead of 'roadside' in stanza 10.

Dell has 'did take' instead of 'would take' in stanza 5, and 'over' instead of 'ever' in stanza 6. I don't know who's right with those!

It's getting to the point where you can't be sure of finding a definitive version on the Internet nowadays!

By the way, how is Secaucus pronounced?



Post Edited (09-15-04 08:05)


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Re: analysis of X.J. Kennedy "In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus One Day"
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-04rh16rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: September 15, 2004 01:18PM

I have heard both SEEcaucus and seeCAUcus, and personally prefer the latter.

XJK only died recently, so I am sure all his stuff is still under copyright. I probably should just link the page(s) that have his works, but the danger is slight. Surely we would get yelled at before any legal action is taken, and our pockets are too shallow to be of interest in any case.

Morally wrong, I hear? Possibly so, but the subject could be argued well into the next decade.


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Re: analysis of X.J. Kennedy "In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus One Day"
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-04rh16rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: September 15, 2004 01:22PM

By the way, how is Secaucus pronounced?

Oh, I forgot - based on the scan, Joe surely intended the 2nd syllable stress.


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Re: analysis of X.J. Kennedy "In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus One Day"
Posted by: Pam Adams (---.bus.csupomona.edu)
Date: September 15, 2004 02:31PM

I've heard it as a song, and the accent is on the second syllable. (and yes, it's been running through my head since the first post) I must say, this would be a fun poem to write about. Now to find someone who will assign Newman Levy.0

pam


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Re: analysis of X.J. Kennedy "In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus One Day"
Posted by: xyz (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: November 17, 2004 05:46AM

"it should be either . . ."

thank you


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Re: analysis of X.J. Kennedy "In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus One Day"
Posted by: xyz (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: November 17, 2004 05:46AM

"it should be either . . ."

thank you


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