Friday, March 21, 2008

Ballad of the Tenant (Jessica Cunningham, Danielle Boyer, Shana Mallory)

Tenant, tenant,
Your house is just fine.
You call me every week
Stop calling my line.

Tenant, tenant,
It's not my fault your steps are broken.
You have parties every night
People call me because they are awoken.

You always pay late
Rent's never on time
Your checks always bounce
You're committing a crime.

What? You're reporting me to the state?
You're gonna try and end my career
Ha, that's funny,
but I have no fear.

No way! You're gonna treat me like this.
I work hard at my job
Treat me with respect
You are the slob.

Lawyer! Lawyer!
Come and try this man!
He's not keeping up with his end of the lease!
Put him in the can!

Gavels bang!
Bam! Bam! Bam!
Verdicts reached.

License revoked.
Headlines in press:

Bad Landlord.

Landlord Loses License.

Judge Gives Landlord Time in Jail.


(Note: In a 30-minute in-class group project, Jennifer Semple Siegel's Introduction to Literature students were asked to rewrite Langston Hughes' 1951 "Ballad of the Landlord" from the landlord's perspective, while attempting to retain the original structure and cadence of the original poem. After reading their poems to the class, the students discussed how the shift in point of view changes the poetic perspective. The class also discussed how attitudes toward African Americans have changed and not changed since 1951.)


LIT160 Introduction to Literature, Spring 2008

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