White Lies

In: English and Literature

Submitted By dudwjadlf
Words 1269
Pages 6
Jinwoo Hur
EH 216
Poetry Analysis
7/7/11

White Lies
Part: 1
In the poem “White Lies,” Natasha Tretheway describes a girl telling white lies as a child in a first person narrative. In the first stanza, she describes herself as “light-bright’ near white, high-yellow, red-boned, in a black place.” Red boned means a racially mixed person, and she is describing her skin as a light and near white color. The next stanza shows the readers what kind of lies she said. She told the white folks that she lived uptown, her homemade dresses were straight from Mason Blanche, and she kept quiet when a white girl called her white. Her lies shows that she wants to hide the fact that she lives in a black neighborhood, and she wants to pass as a white. The third stanza describes the punishment she received when her mom found out she was telling the lies. Her mom cleaned her mouth with “ivory soap,” claiming it would purify and cleanse the lying tongue.

Part: 2 * Step 1: the technical aspects
Yellow highlight: internal rhymes
Green highlight: alliteration
White lies –Natasha Tretheway-
The lies I could tell, when I was growing up light-bright, near white, commas separate 2words each rhythmic high-yellow, red-boned, in a black place, were just white lies. metaphor
First stanza is one sentence with commas for end stopping and caesuras. Introduces her background. A lot of imagery used such as “light-bright, near white high-yellow, red-boned, in a black place.” It is literal meaning of describing herself. Few internal rhyme and alliteration.

I could easily tell the white folks that we lived up town, not in the pink and green imagery, literally describing the neighborhood? shanty-fied shotgun section alliteration along the tracks. I could act like simile my homemade dresses came straight out the window of Mason Blanche. I could even mason blanche means…...

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