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Analysis

The Day Lady Died Allusions & Cultural References

When poets refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.

Literature, Philosophy, and Mythology

  • New World Writing (line 9) – a literary magazine
  • Paul Verlaine (lines 14, 18)
  • Pierre Bonnard (line 15)
  • Hesiod (line 16)
  • Richard Lattimore (line 16) – A translator who translated works of Hesiod, among other classics.
  • Brendan Behan (line 17)
  • Jean Genet and Le Balcon and Les Nègres (lines 17-18)

Historical References

Pop Culture

  • Billie Holiday (title)
  • Ziegfeld Theatre (line 23)
  • Gauloises (line 24) – Gauloises are a brand of French cigarettes associated with French café culture and artists like Jean-Paul Sartre.
  • The New York Post (line 25)
  • The 5 Spot (line 27)
  • Mal Waldron (line 29)

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