Miriam Jones Poetry Blog Post #2 The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carrol

William Zanzinger killed poor Hattie Carroll
With a cane that he twirled round his diamond ring finger
At a Baltimore hotel society gath’rin’.
And the cops was called in and his weapon took from him
As they rode him in custody down to the station
And booked William Zanzinger for first-degree murder.
But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears,
Take the rag away from your face –
Now ain’t the time for your tears.

William Zanzinger, who at twenty-four years
Owns a tobacco farm of six hundred acres,
With rich wealthy parents who provide and protect him,
And high office relations in the politics of Marilyn,
Reacted to his deed with a shrug of his shoulders
And swear words and sneering, and his tongue it was a-snarling,
And in a matter of minutes on bail was out walking.
But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears,
Take the rag away from your face –
Now ain’t the time for your tears.

Hattie Carroll was a maid in the kitchen.
She was fifty-one years old and gave birth to ten children,
Who carried the dishes and took out the garbage
And never sat once at the head of the table
And didn’t even talk to the people at the table,
Who just cleaned up all the food from the table
And emptied the ashtrays on a whole other level,
Got killed by a blow, lay slain by a cane
That sailed through the air and came down through the room,
Doomed and determined to destroy all the gentle –
And she never done nothing to William Zanzinger.
But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears,
Take the rag away from your face –
Now ain’t the time for your tears.

In the courtroom of honor, the judge pounded his gavel
To show that all’s equal and that the courts are on the level
And that the strings in the books ain’t pulled and persuaded
And that even the nobles get properly handled
Once that the cops have chased after and caught ’em
And that the ladder of law has no top and no bottom,
Stared at the person who killed for no reason,
Who just happened to be feelin’ that way without warnin’,
And he spoke through his cloak, most deep and distinguished,
And handed out strongly, for penalty and repentance,
William Zanzinger with a six-month sentence.
Ah, but you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears,
Bury the rag deep in your face –
For now’s the time for your tears.

Bob Dylan came up with another poem that had effect the process of the reality of life. During the time period that Bob Dylan was in, which was during the 60s and 70s, where racism was almost like a epidemic of discrediting race. Mostly, this affected the African American culture of discrimination and betrayal of people they thought they would be able to trust, but at the end caught in a trap. The poem, The lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll, was based on a true story that took place in Maryland. It  consist a trace theme of equality and humility of mankind It was a well known story that was placed inside the newspaper following the trial of William Zanzinger. The title of the poem was a representation that expressed how her death was cold and alone to be murdered by a stranger for no reason.

The poem starts of saying to the reader that William Zanzinger murdered Hattie Carroll with one blow from his cane. Then the cops came to the hotel and arrest him for murder. This scene gave a imagery of sadness and shame for William, but he felt no remorse. The last three sentences of the first stanza states, “But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears, Take the rag away from your face – Now ain’t the time for your tears”. Bob Dylan was trying to expound on how there are philosophers that “criticize” everything, but what really matters to society. Instead, he was expressing that they need to stop for one moment and don’t fill their hearts with sorrow, because we have to fight the wrong that has been committed.

In the second stanza, this gave a background of William Zanzinger life. He was well known in the community by his parents wealth. “He also knew many political people that were in high positions in the state of Maryland”. The next sentence says that Zanzinger ”  Reacted to his deed with a shrug of his shoulders”. Stated in the previous paragraph, William Zanainger had no remorse. He can be best described as numb to the entire situation. Again Bob Dylan tells the people to hold the tears, because the time has not come yet.

Int he third stanza, Bob Dylan gives the background information of Hattie Carroll life just as he did with William Zanzinger. He explained that Hattie Carroll was a maid that took care of her ten children. Every single day, she worked her butt off cleaning tables, taking out the trash, and serving others to get her pay to provide for her family. Then Bob Dylan emphasized the fact of being hit with a cane for no apparent reason. but still he tells the people to hold the tears, because it is not the end.

The last stanza uses imagery to describe the trial day of William Zanzinger. The statement “the judge pounded his gavel To show that all’s equal”, was putting on an impression of ho racism really did not exist. As the poem continues, the judge gives William Zanzinger only six month sentence for a first degree murder. Then Bob Dylan states at the end, “Ah, but you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears, Bury the rag deep in your face –  For now’s the time for your tears”. The meaning of the last three sentences was taking the trial as being unfair, because he deserve more than six months. Also he was expressing to the philosopher that arguing is a way of life for you, but you won’t criticize equal rights.

In conclusion, Bob Dylan took a true story to make it his own song that created a epidemic of society realizing how equality is necessary.

 

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