unigo_skin
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
 

Quotes

Quote #1

Droning a drowsy syncopated tune (1)

Most syncopated tunes aren't considered drowsy, because syncopation makes the rhythm bounce in a lively way. Honky-tonk music is the exception and was played in bars with bad reputations; like the one in the poem. Such a "low" form of music is an interesting contrast to the "high art" of lyric poetry.

Quote #2

He did a lazy sway….
He did a lazy sway…. (6-7)

In the poem, Hughes employs some typical blues forms. The repetition keeps the song simple, but lets the performer improvise some fancy guitar or piano riffs the second time around.

Quote #3

With his ebony hands on each ivory key
He made that poor piano moan with melody. (9-10)

Being creative is hard work. The act of putting your body and soul into making the best song can be a painful process. Here the singer is putting his own frustrations into the music, and his instrument seems to telegraph the pain to the audience.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
back to top