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Ballad of the Landlord Poem Review

Malek Allari| Editor in Chief

The poem talks about a black man who is having troubles at the apartment/house he is renting, including a leak in the roof and broken stairs. However, the landlord keeps saying that the tenant has to buy ten bucks for rent, but the tenant refuses to pay until the problems are fixed, which the landlord threatens to evict the black man, and then it ends with the black tenant being sent to jail for three months with no bail.

"You gonna get eviction orders? " I believe that this is a significant line because it talks about how black people were mistreated by their landlords, especially when the house has some problems that need to be addressed, but the landlord keeps saying the man owes ten bucks for rent. Another golden line is, "You gonna cut off my heat? You gonna take my furniture and Throw it in the street." These three lines are basically some of the threats that the landlord told the tenant, but the tenant could do anything about the fact that the systemic racism of being a black tenant and the white landlord has a business together.

The poem is definitely in a "ballad" form since one of the key distinguishers is the rhyme scheme of the four-lined stanza (A, B, C, B). Moreover, in the third stanza, they all have the same rhyme scheme (A, A, A, A). It was also interesting to see "headlines" in the poem about the arrest of the black tenant being in a different format from the rest of the poem, showing the fact that the entire ballad was based on it and wanting to raise awareness of what had happened.


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