“Tuesday, 9 AM” by Denver Butson is a rather macabre description of various people so caught up in their own problems that they are unable to help anyone else. It seems to be a sort of metaphor for the different problem-solving strategies that people use to help deal with various issues that one may be facing. The title in itself seems to have a significance in its insignificance; Tuesday as a day in itself has no direct connotations, and this makes it seem like the suffering of the following people is happening and can happen at any time, on any seemingly inconsequential day.
The first stanza of this poem details a man who is burning to death. The author uses a great deal of fire imagery to get his point across, “Flames are peaking out/from beneath his collar and cuffs/His shoes have begun to melt.” At this point, the reader is able to actually picture this poor man rather grotesquely burning to death. However, for some reason, the man does nothing but reads a newspaper, despite the fact that he must be very uncomfortable, what with the whole burning to death factor. This seems to be the author’s first classification of a way that people use to solve their problems- the “I’ll-just-ignore-it-and-then-it’ll-go-away” method, even when other people have noticed the person suffering from this problem and want to help.
The second stanza is about the woman standing next to the man; she seems him burning and wants to inform him that he needs to get help, or perhaps to help him herself, but she can’t, because for some reason she is drowning. The author again does an excellent job of incorporating imagery to detail this rather terrifying death, or problem (let’s face it, drowning is a scary way to go). He shows the reader, “Water is everywhere/in her mouth and ears/in her eyes/A stream of water runs/steadily from her blouse.” The reader can picture this woman choking for air as she struggles to breathe just enough to inform the man about his situation. This is a woman...
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