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On Time Tanka by June Jordan

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On Time Tanka

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- 1936-2002

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I refuse to choose
between lynch rope and gang rape
the blues is the blues!
my skin and my sex: Deep dues
I have no wish to escape

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Feb 11
Jesse Bergstrom (Feb 11 2021 1:51PM) : There is nothing worse than the other more

I’m thinking that this stanza is setting up the subject of injustices regarding both race and gender, probably describing their experiences as a woman of colour and how both racism and sexism runs rampant in both sides of the coin.

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Feb 11
Madison Allen (Feb 11 2021 2:16PM) : I agree more

I was thinking that also, it is terrible how she has to feel as though she needs to include that in the poem. Race and gender probably have something to do with it, I don’t know exactly because I didn’t live in those times.

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Feb 11
Katie Bishop (Feb 11 2021 1:44PM) : Strong words more

This line is extremely powerful and made me sit back and think. The impact that “lynch rope” has is important for the setting stone of the poem. June Jordan grabs the audiences attention with this line because it is impactful and powerful.

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Feb 11
Jesse Bergstrom (Feb 11 2021 1:58PM) : For sure more

The word choices definitely pop out at you. The rhyme structure is also set in a way that is simple yet strong.

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Feb 12
Gavin Law (Feb 12 2021 8:25AM) : I agree more

Whenever I was reading this, this line really stood out for me. I believe that it is extremely impactful for the poem.

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Feb 12
Katherine Hanover (Feb 12 2021 11:40AM) : yup more

The words were definitely very visual and very strong, but sometimes that may be needed to spread your message. I agree that the wording made this piece much stronger.

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Feb 11
Paul Hankins (Feb 11 2021 1:50PM) : Mr. Hankins: Sight Rhyme Structure more

Watch the juxtaposition of the two phrases. Lynch rope. Gang rape. The presence of the two phrases in the same line almost mirror one another. More juxtaposition is suggested in what we might call the lesser of two evils. Choose? This is hardly a choice.

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Feb 11
Madison Allen (Feb 11 2021 2:02PM) : Difficult choices more

With the author saying lynch rope and gang rape, it makes it seem as though she felt she only had those choices. Between the two choices neither of them seem like good choices at all, especially for someone that could be completely innocent

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Feb 12
Emily Morrison (Feb 12 2021 12:12PM) : I agree more

I agree with this. These are the only two options given, like they are the only choices. Neither is a good option, but as can be noted from the previous line, the author is saying the they “refuse to choose”.

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Feb 11
Paul Hankins (Feb 11 2021 1:51PM) : Mr. Hankins: Resignation more

In this exclamation, Jordan says one is as terminal as the other. And seemingly the subject matter of what might use in “the blues” (a popular form of music attributed to Black culture).

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Feb 11
Paul Hankins (Feb 11 2021 1:53PM) : Mr. Hankins here: Juxtaposition more

Skin and sex are now equated with rope and rape. See how this is working. And, now, we see a bit of an economical theme coming out. Whether the poet pays her dues in skin or sex is a matter of what she seems to owe to a culture that would take either from her.

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Feb 11
Paul Hankins (Feb 11 2021 1:54PM) : Mr. Hankins: Is this a defiance? more

The poet claiming they don’t choose escape is to stand and to take a position against the choice that is not a choice.

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Feb 11
Katie L. Bishop (Feb 11 2021 1:59PM) : "I have no wish to escape" more

This line may have a deeper meaning behind it. She could be saying that she is comfortable in the life she has, and is comfortable in her skin. When she says, “I have no wish to escape.” What could she mean by “escape?” What do you think she would be escaping?

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Feb 12
Emily Weber (Feb 12 2021 8:43AM) : "I have no wish to escape" [Edited] more

Personally, I took this as she has no wish to escape her sex and the skin that she is in. I think she she is content with the way that she looks and would never want to change that.

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Feb 12
Matteo De Maso (Feb 12 2021 1:45PM) : I have no wish to escape more

I think this means that she is proud of her skin color and proud of her gender, and that she is not going to let other people’s prejudice get to her.

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Feb 12
Riley Weber (Feb 12 2021 1:51PM) : I agree more

I think that when June Jordan says this she is talking about the pride she has for her skin color and sex and she has no desire to change it

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Feb 12
Lauren Trendel (Feb 12 2021 1:47PM) : "I have no wish to escape" more

I think this line means despite the discrimination against her, and her skin color that she has no wish to escape who she is. Though the pain injustice brings her, she wouldn’t change herself to please other people. She is who she is and that’s all she has left.

I refuse to lose
the flame of my single space
this safety I choose
between your fist and my face
between my gender and race

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Feb 11
Emma Graves (Feb 11 2021 1:53PM) : Rhyme more

In this stanza, many words rhyme. The first line and the third line end with words that rhyme. Then the second, forth, and fifth line ends with words that rhyme with each other.

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Feb 11
Zachary Hazel (Feb 11 2021 1:57PM) : Rhyme Scheme more

The Rhyme Scheme in this stanza an ABAB

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Feb 11
Benjamin Bluehs (Feb 11 2021 1:58PM) : Rhyme Scheme more

The first line and the third line are two rhyming words(lose and choose). Also the second, fourth, and fifth are all rhyming words(space, face, and race) are words that rhyme in this stanza.

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Feb 12
Dominic Decker (Feb 12 2021 11:51AM) : Rhyme Scheme more

The rhyme scheme in this stanza is pretty cool, the first and third lines rhyme. The following it, the second, fourth, and fifth lines rhyme. This makes this stanzas’ rhyme scheme ABABB.

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Feb 12
Ross Scully (Feb 12 2021 2:14PM) : Rhyme more

I agree the rhyme scheme fits well to the poem, an adds more to it.

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Feb 12
Katlyn Burris (Feb 12 2021 2:05PM) : I refuse to lose the flame of my single space more

This stanza here depicts the author’s fighting spirit.

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Feb 12
Flora Clarke (Feb 12 2021 8:37AM) : "I refuse to lose" more

June Jordan shows the audience her determination to end the violence, and to choose safety. Refusing to lose or get used to the idea of being physically abused all because of her gender and/or race. She refused to lose the flame/spark she carries. She’s driven to never lose her identity

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Feb 12
Josiah French (Feb 12 2021 11:43AM) : Agreed more

I Think that when she says “I refuse to lose” it is very important like you said she will not get used to getting abused. The world has certainly seen a lot of change and fighting in the last year.

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Feb 12
Hanna Brock (Feb 12 2021 11:46AM) : "I refuse to lose" more

I agree with Flora when saying that June Jordan, “refused to lose the flame/spark she carries”. June Jordan is a strong woman who is showing women, of all ages, that we DO have a choice. No matter who you came into this world as, you do have a choice on what happens to/around you, and this specific line is proof of that.

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Feb 12
Dominic Decker (Feb 12 2021 11:59AM) : "I refuse to lose" more

I agree with everything you said. The words “I refuse to lose” are a very powerful four words. She basically saying she will not get used to being abused because of her race or gender.

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Feb 12
Joshua Hudson (Feb 12 2021 12:06PM) : Consonant Sounds more

I have noticed that throughout this poem that the “s” sound appears in every stanza, almost every line, and sometimes, multiple times in one line. I don’t know if this was Jordan’s choice or a coincidence that happened to work out. It might even be both. Another thing I noticed was that she uses words that seem confrontational such as “refuse,” “fist,” and “accuse.”

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Feb 11
Paul Hankins (Feb 11 2021 1:55PM) : Mr. Hankins: The space/the stance more

Again, this imagery of the tension of opposites, between ______ and ______. Standing firm in the middle.

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Feb 11
Hailey Drane (Feb 11 2021 1:56PM) : Fear more

I feel that this stanza is talking about the fear of losing safety. The fear of being seen differently because of gender or race, and that resulting in violence. The speaker acknowledges this fear though, by refusing to lose the meaning of that safety.

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Feb 12
Jayden Robinson (Feb 12 2021 12:00PM) : Safety of the mind more

This stanza as a whole speaks mountains. The theme it screams at me is “Judge a man not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character.” This stanza is all about that. Their gender and race doesn’t define them, their mind does.

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Feb 12
Aron Guerrero (Feb 12 2021 1:53PM) : what Safety? more

what safety is June Jordan talking about? Safety from what? and why did she choose “this safety” instead another one?

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Feb 12
Connor Whitpan (Feb 12 2021 8:40AM) : Violence throughout the poem more

All throughout this poem there is violence and conflict. Some examples are when Jordan says, “between your fist and my face” and “so against my pepper spray”. Also when Jordan says, “Black and blue news” this is another way of saying bruises.

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Feb 12
Ethan Nattermann (Feb 12 2021 11:50AM) : "Between my gender and my race" more

This line shows how Jordan feels ostracized by her peers because of her gender, and how she feels ostracized by the authorities for her race.

All black and blue news
withers the heart of my hand
and leads to abuse
no one needs to understand:
suicide wipes out the clues

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Feb 11
Danika Jacobs (Feb 11 2021 1:57PM) : Stanza 3 more

The author in this stanza is talking about how if some people are abused. Then when they commit suicide there is no clues that they might have been abused. People that don’t know what that might feel like don’t understand what they go through.

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Feb 12
student mia perronie (Feb 12 2021 11:45AM) : Abuse more

In this stanza it is being read as the bruises and hurtfulness is leading to abuse. It is gives off that suicide just hides the fact that abuse occurred and it just takes everything away.

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Feb 12
Isabel Odle (Feb 12 2021 4:02PM) : Abuse more

I agree with your statement. This stanza gives off a deeper meaning. While she mentions abuse, she also mentions suicide. The author uses deep and harsh words to grab the attention of the reader.

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Feb 12
Anna Henry (Feb 12 2021 2:17PM) : Stanza 3 more

I think what the author is trying to convey in this stanza is that many times abuse goes unnoticed until an even worse reality comes true.

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Feb 11
Eli Hopkins (Feb 11 2021 1:57PM) : Imagery and Double Meaning more

Black and blue are colors associated with bruises. Bruises come from violence. Across America, news of police violence against African Americans has gained widespread attention. The police wear blue uniforms and are known now for enacting violence against people of color. The curt alliteration of “b” in the first line adds to the intense connotations of the line.

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Feb 12
Belle Garrett (Feb 12 2021 8:51AM) : I agree more

I believe the entire poem hints to police brutality and racism overall in America. Within every stanza there are allusions to racism, some being more bold than others.

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Feb 12
Avery Estephan (Feb 12 2021 2:17PM) : Good point, Ella more

That’s a good point! I didn’t look at it that way. I did figure that the “blue” was referring to the police. Neat perspective!

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Feb 11
Paul Hankins (Feb 11 2021 2:03PM) : Mr. Hankins: Suggestive Line more

In this line the poet seems to suggest that to choose death is to wipe away the proof of the narrative of what it means to survive as a Black woman.

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Feb 12
Emme Rooney (Feb 12 2021 8:30AM) : Cancellation more

People that experience such injustice in their daily life may see suicide as their way to “wipe out the clues” of their pain and suffering. Many people see suicide as an answer to their issues when the loss of a loved one, regardless of the cause, is yet another issue for the people surrounding them.

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Feb 12
Gavin Law (Feb 12 2021 8:30AM) : Impact more

This line has a huge impact on the poem because it is talking about suicide, which is a huge problem right now in our world with everything that is going on.

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Feb 12
Colleen O'Hara (Feb 12 2021 2:05PM) : Connection more

“A permanent solution to a temporary problem”. This is what my text book at Prosser states about suicide. Wiping away the problems that could be solved because of outside and overwhelming influences. Wiping away what could have pointed the need for help, only to be discovered after it is too late.

Big-Time-Juicy-Fruit!
Celebrity-Rich-Hero
Rollin out the Rolls!
Proud cheatin on your (Black) wife
Loud beatin on your (white) wife

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Feb 11
Trevor Trevor Montgomery (Feb 11 2021 1:51PM) : Thoughts more

Something I kind of took away is how maybe when somebody is this huge star and big time name, maybe the bad things they do like assaulting women can kind of be given a back seat. I also think that maybe this is saying some big time people might think it is okay or cool to assault women and cheat on their wife which is obviously not okay.

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Feb 11
Brandon Maurer (Feb 11 2021 1:53PM) : Stanza 4 more

In this stanza the author continues the tonka form with the 5 7 5 7 7 line scheme and talks about rich people and the problems with them. These being how the public sees them as heroes and how they have tons of money, where it says “rollin out the rolls”. The author continues to talk about these problems when they go on to to talk about how they can get away with “cheatin on your (black) wife” and "beatin on your (white) wife.

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Feb 11
Student Kennedy Freitas (Feb 11 2021 7:00PM) : Brutal Truth more

I thought that this stanza was very powerful. It really moves the reader to think about what it means to them, or what it means in general. To me, it seems sort of brutal, but brutal in the ways of the world, and the reality of life.

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Feb 12
Isabel Odle (Feb 12 2021 3:55PM) : Harsh Words more

I agree with you, Kennedy. I think the words in this stanza are powerful and harsh, but I think it is somewhat of a reality.

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Feb 12
Kinsey Holland (Feb 12 2021 8:33AM) : Choice of Words and Phrases more

i found this stanza of the poem to be rather interesting because of the words she chose to use. The choice of words like “Celebrity-Rich-Hero”, “Proud cheatin on your (Black) wife” and “Loud beatin on your (White) wife” really make you sit back and think about what was going through June’s head while she was writing this poem. She’s saying even though they partaking in domestic abuse, they can get away with it because they are rich celebrities. Even though this poem was written a while back, some of the phrases and stanzas still apply to today.

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Feb 12
Daniel Miller (Feb 12 2021 2:07PM) : Celebrity Heroes more

This line mentions rich celebrities portrayed as heroes, which immediately made me think of the adage, don’t meet your heroes. Mainstream rich celebrities also seem to have scandals quite often, which shatters many peoples perceptions of their usually childhood heroes. Which seems to be the point of this stanza, to show that the rich are proud of cheating and proud of beating.

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Feb 12
Jackie Sweat (Feb 12 2021 1:33PM) : Meaning more

I think this line addresses the violence against women. The author speaks of gang rape and abuse through police officers. She says “Celebrity-Rich-Hero” which to me references people who seem like they’re good but in reality are cheating and beating their wives. I like how she adds black and white in parentheses to differentiate. I feel like people don’t just beat on their white wives or cheat on their black wives, it goes both ways but may relate to her situation. It implies that men proudly do these things with no worry for repercussion, normally someone being abused won’t share it.

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Real slime open mouth
police officer-true-creep
evil-and-uncouth
fixin to burn black people
killin the song of our sleep

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Feb 11
Jordyn Reas (Feb 11 2021 1:56PM) : Rhyme Scheme more

This stanza follows a very loose rhyme scheme. The ends of the first and third lines have words that end in “outh,” but they do not make the same sounds. I think the name for it i a pseudo rhyme. Then, the second and fifth lines both end with the sound “eep.” However, they are a bit too far apart to really be considered a rhyme. The the fourth line doesn’t rhyme with anything at all.

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Feb 11
Daisy Priddy (Feb 11 2021 1:59PM) : Form more

Tanka form contains a pattern of five seven five seven seven. This pattern is referring to the syllables within five lines in the stanza. Stanza five does follow the form described above.

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Feb 11
Avery Post (Feb 11 2021 2:00PM) : Meaning more

This stanza of the poem is referencing the racial bias of police officers, from the perspective of a person of color. Despite when this was made, it makes some points that feel similar to today’s time.

With the Black Lives Matter movement surging up last year, the deaths of many colored people due to police brutality were brought to light. The last line of the stanza references “killin the song of our sleep.” While this was made before Breonna Taylor was killed, this reminds me of it as it was told that she was killed in her home, in the place where she rests and sleeps.

It may not be the best correlation, but its one that this poem made me think about.

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Feb 12
Hankins Lindsay Barnes (Feb 12 2021 8:40AM) : Correlation more

I completely agree with your correlation between the Black Lives Matter movement to this piece. I think it is disheartening to realize these issues are sill present for specific races in our country.

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Feb 12
Joseph Lemon (Feb 12 2021 8:30AM) : Rhyme scheme and meaning more

In this stanza you can find two rhymes with two words ending in “Outh” and then the other two words that rhyme ending in “eep”. All throughout this poem you can see multiple rhymes making this a really enjoyable poem to read. The meaning of this stanza is to show and reference the racial acts of some police officers to people of color.

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Feb 12
Colin Kapust (Feb 12 2021 8:35AM) : Rhyme more

I think the rhymes in poems are what makes me enjoy reading them the most. It’s almost like reading a rap song, but not really at the same time.

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Feb 12
Ella Morrow (Feb 12 2021 11:41AM) : Strong imagery more

These lines conjure a strong image of both a person and group. I can almost hear the author sort of hissing or stung out the lines.

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Feb 12
Emma Pfeifer (Feb 12 2021 11:50AM) : Meaning of this stanza more

The meaning of this stanza is to show the corrupt police force against people of color. This collection of lines in the Tanka is written in the perspective of police brutality people of color face on a day-to-day basis. During the BLM movements they are trying to bring awareness to others with the racial bias certain police officers hold against people of color. When it says “fixin to burn black people,” I think the author is trying to make others feel how they feel, enraged with what is happening to people of their own.

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Feb 12
student Heather Purlee (Feb 12 2021 12:01PM) : Metaphorical references to deep subjects more

I believe this is referencing to police break ins and how it can take away people’s feeling of safety in their most vunerable moment like sleep.

Neither one of you
gets any play in my day
I know what you do
your money your guns your say
so against my pepper spray

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Feb 11
Sydney Sierota (Feb 11 2021 1:47PM) : Tone more

This stanza has a very strong tone. She makes it clear she won’t let anyone mess with her and she won’t go down without a fight.

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Feb 11
Sydney Sierota (Feb 11 2021 1:54PM) : Rhyme more

Lines 1 and 3 rhyme and lines 2,4, and 5 rhyme. The rhyme scheme is ababb.

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Feb 12
Grant Miller (Feb 12 2021 8:37AM) : tone [Edited] more

The tone of this poem is very serious.

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Feb 12
Meredith Voigt (Feb 12 2021 8:49AM) : Interpretation [Edited] more

The way I interpreted this stanza, specifically “your money and your guns your say, so against my pepper spray.” My mind immediately thought of the recent riots and movements fighting for African Americans rights. “Your money your guns your say” referring to racist people and they have all the right to carry a gun, but they are against her right to own pepper spray.

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Feb 12
Tavian Smith (Feb 12 2021 12:06PM) : Interpretation Response more

So, I though this response was interesting. Obviously with all of the mishap with the handful of police officers who have not abided by their oath, there has been some rather excessive up rise. I though your response to “Your money your guns your say” to be interesting. Are you saying that anyone who carries a gun would be considered racist. I would also like to make the point that, I cannot find a specific date of publication, but she lived in earlier and mid 1900s when racism, especially systemically, was still a common issue in the US. I would like to point out that now today there is not that same issue and making the assumption relating people who own guns to the few bad apples that we still have in America, is a very strong statement. I would also like to point out where you said they are against her right to own pepper spray. Again looking back at when there were not as many rights for black people compared to those who are white, she was more than likely not allowed to own pepper spray. In todays standard mace, pepper spray, all of it is legal in all 50 states, no matter you race. So I would agree with your comment if it were currently the mid 1900s when systemic racism was an issue, but today, where this is A. outlawed, and B. Not existent outside of a handful of people, I just cannot find myself to agree with you on this.

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Feb 12
Austin Densmore (Feb 12 2021 1:42PM) : Meaning more

When June says this, I believe she is trying to say that these evil men have no control over her or her actions during the day, and controls herself over her own power and independence.

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Feb 12
Gavin Law (Feb 12 2021 8:27AM) : Rhythm [Edited] more

The author uses rhythm in this line when he rhymes “play” with “day”.

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Feb 11
Sydney Sierota (Feb 11 2021 1:51PM) : Word Choice more

The author uses “your” repetitively in this line to make her point that it’s your choice because it’s your money and guns.

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Feb 12
Lucas Densford (Feb 12 2021 8:26AM) : Viewpoints more

This line represents more than what is says from an aerial view. “Your money your guns your say,” this line is powerful in showing how Jordan feels about this counterpart, potentially a policing force, whom she feels is oppressive, controlling, and feels as if they reign supreme over any other group of people. Though Jordan brings this to light by saying it in a condescending matter, as she does not agree with such a take, yet it is the belief of the counterpart themselves.

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Feb 16
Kali Moffett (Feb 16 2021 12:39PM) : Controversial more

Within America, over the past few years it has been a controversial subject over gun control. Whether Americans should be allowed to carry firearms or not. I feel that this will be a continuing controversy within the next couple years.

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Feb 11
Ava Rippel (Feb 11 2021 2:02PM) : Powerful stanza more

In this stanza you can feel the emotions that June Jordan is trying to express to the audience. The words and her tone she uses to show you the daily fight that she battles. Comparing money and guns to her pepper spray could be interpreted in many different ways.

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Feb 12
Addyson Downs (Feb 12 2021 2:04PM) : Unequal Comparisons more

This poem seems to be about police brutality, racism, and prejudice. The lines “Your money your guns your say, so against my pepper spray” seems to be referring to the police comparing pepper spray and guns. The author is putting the police officers on a pedestal with speaking about money and their “say” or the power of their words. Then she says that the police are so against her pepper spray, while referring back to the previous line where the police have guns. To out it simply: Guns are not a fair weapon to use in a pepper spray fight. I think the author is trying to convey that. She is also trying to convey, in this stanza, how damaging spreading horrible accusations can be.

Okay! laugh away!
I hear you and I accuse
you both: I refuse
to choose: All black and blue news
means that I hurt and I lose.

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Feb 11
Yahir Velasco (Feb 11 2021 1:50PM) : Rhyme scheme more

The rhyme scheme in this stanza is:
abbbb

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Feb 11
Lacey Tingle (Feb 11 2021 1:53PM) : tone [Edited] more

When he says I accuse you both. I can hear them saying that with an aggressive tone.

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Feb 12
Ella Morrow (Feb 12 2021 11:40AM) : Police and Bruises more

“All black and blue news” This could be taken literally as bruises- the rate of violent crime being pictured on TV and in newspapers. However, it probably also refers to two groups of people, black being African American and blue being police, as they are often referred to as “the men in blue.”

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Feb 12
student mia perronie (Feb 12 2021 11:42AM) : Accusing more

In this last stanza the author is really trying to get across how he accuses both parties of the group. one group is trying to help him out and another is just laughing away for whats happening.

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Feb 12
Carter Smith (Feb 12 2021 11:50AM) : Rhyme more

I struggled finding the rhyme scheme throughout this poem. There seems to be one overall rhyme scheme but I could not find one. Each stanza has four lines the rhmye but usually one that does not

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Feb 11
Yahir Velasco (Feb 11 2021 1:58PM) : Laugh away more

Jordan writes in this line how people or others just brush off this argument and laugh at her. Other people along side her are trying to fight for equality. But when being laughed at she does not take it to heart. As those who are not trying to understand her fight, should not fight at all.

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Feb 11
Yahir Velasco (Feb 11 2021 1:53PM) : Conflict more

It seems to be a fight between people of color and their systemic oppression by the Police and policing forces. It also speaks on how people of color should not take the oppression lying down and must try to fight back.

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Feb 11
Trey Schoen (Feb 11 2021 2:00PM) : rhyme more

the author uses rhyming in this poem by including “choose” and “news”

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Feb 12
Rosie Grady (Feb 12 2021 8:39AM) : black and blue news more

I believe this line of choosing between black and blue news, represent the opposing forces from each that views the other as the “enemy” so to speak. When one refuses to choose a side in a controversial issue they are viewed as uneducated and scared, however this represents how choosing the unbiased approach can generate hate from die-hard individuals in the opposing groups.

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Feb 12
Destiny Baird (Feb 12 2021 11:47AM) : I agree more

I agree with you Rosie, the same idea came to my mind when reading this stanza. Another impactful line within this stanza though is, “I hurt I lose.” in which I believe the poet was explaining how although both sides are at a disagreement only one side ever suffers.

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Feb 12
student Reese Garloch (Feb 12 2021 1:51PM) : Main idea more

I think the poem is about police brutality against African Americans. When the author says “black,” he refers to African Americans, and when she says “blue,” she refers to police.

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Feb 12
Avery Estephan (Feb 12 2021 2:19PM) : Repetition more

This line was used earlier in the poem. The author may have did this to hit on the idea that we are constantly hearing these cases of police brutality, which is a problem.

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Feb 12
Colin Kapust (Feb 12 2021 8:32AM) : Conflict between people more

To fully understand this line, I think the line before really gives this line meaning. It’s pretty much implying that some interactions between the police and African Americans don’t end well.

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Feb 12
Joseph Lemon (Feb 12 2021 8:35AM) : analyzing the whole poem more

I agree with this comment because to fully understand what some lines are meaning you have to read the lines before that to get the context. In the sentence before the line you chose you can see that she is referring to the police news and interactions with the police.

From The Essential June Jordan, edited by Jan Heller Levi and Christoph Keller. © 2021 June M. Jordan Literary Estate and Copper Canyon Press. Used by permission. www.junejordan.com

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DMU Timestamp: November 12, 2020 20:50

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Feb 11
Paul Hankins (Feb 11 2021 6:50AM) : Mr. Hankins: Note on Sensitivity of Subject Matter more

As dual credit seeking students, an expectation for you might be to sit in the discomfort of text that is challenging both in its decoding and its deciphering. Such is the case with June Jordan’s “On Time Tanka.” I expect Room 407 students to enter into this poem with a degree of attentiveness that might lead to appreciation of perspective.

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Feb 11
Paul Hankins (Feb 11 2021 6:53AM) : Mr. Hankins: Features of the Form/Poem more

Of note in this poem are:

  • Audible rhythm.
  • Declarative and Emphatic end-stops.
    *Rhyme Scheme We’ve Not Seen in Other Pieces. abaab watch for this to repeat in the others stanzas. While the tanka form is not locked in by way of word arrangement, the ability to choose ending sounds features in this piece.
  • Strong Imagery.
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