Pride In Bleeding Hands

550 Words3 Pages
Pride in Bleeding Hands Down on your knees, scrubbing the bathroom floors inside an airport; standing on a street corner selling the berries that you just spent all day picking, blood and scabs still on your hands. This work is below most and the people who do it should be ashamed. At least that’s what many Americans seem to think when they see someone doing these jobs. It’s about social class and the perception of people in lower classes than our own. Two poems, “Blackberries” by Yusef Komunyakaa and “Singapore” by Mary Oliver give an insight on these “shameful jobs” and how they mean more to the people that do them. Despite the similarities each poem portrays, they contrast in location and gender, the pride in the type of work that is done and the feelings towards the higher class. Social class is exceedingly dependent on location and gender. The differences in one part of the world will be almost complete opposites in another. “Blackberries” takes place on fields in Africa with a boy picking blackberries; while “Singapore” concentrates on an incident inside of a women’s bathroom at a Singaporean airport. The speaker of “Blackberries” is that of a working boy who is selling blackberries on the side of the road in an upper class village. Whereas in “Singapore” the main focus are women, an upper class and a lower class woman. The diverse locations give the back bone to how both jobs are portrayed by the upper class. Another disparity is the pride in the lower class work. Throughout “Blackberries” the boy has no sense or idea that his daily routine is anything but normal. He enjoys being out on the fields with his dog picking and eating the blackberries. “I ate the mythology & dreamt/ Of pies & cobbler” (130.ll.11-12) The speaker in “Singapore” is disgusted by the image of the woman scrubbing away at a toilet in a public restroom. “Disgust argued in
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