Sunset

In Saeed Jones Poem “Don’t let the Sun Shine on you” in his collection of poems Prelude to a Bruise there is a repetition of the phrases around the sun setting. One of the lines reads “Thank God it’s not dark…yet” (Jones 19). My surface level interpretation is that the sun is setting and it’s getting dark but the person who the story is about, which I assume to be Jones, a black man, is fearful of this. His fear is shown in the fact that he is thankful that it’s not dark yet. Jones reads a sign where the first part of it says, “N*GGIER DON’T LET THE SUN SET ON YOU” (Jones 19). These words make it more clear to me that Jones is afraid of what will happen when it gets dark. The words leave an impending sense of danger in the narrator since the sun has not set yet and the sign. In another poem “Jasper, 1998” Jones details an event where I’m sure that a pair of white men seem to have given him a ride and then beat him up. This poem and the other one mentioned seem to be alluding to the racism that Jones faced. The poem takes a second person view and continues to refer to “you” throughout the poem; this is similar to how the sign speaks in second person as well. It is speaking to the person reading it, specifically the black person reading it. So I think that with this Jones making the reader become him in that moment after reading the sign-that frightened black boy who is hopeful that he will get somewhere safe before sundown.

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