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Analysis

Ma Rainey 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.

Geographical References

  • Cape Girardeau, Missouri (5)
  • Poplar Bluff, Missouri (6)
  • Mississippi River delta (15)
  • New Orleans, Louisiana (15)
  • Mobile, Alabama (16)

Pop Culture References

  • Ma Rainey (throughout)
  • "Ma's Black Bottom Blues" (19)
  • "Backwater Blues" (41)
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