Friday, March 6, 2009
Wedges in "Seventh Street"
Wedges are an important part of this poem. The word 'wedge' is used to divide, show a piece, and shine in this place. Seventh Street of Washington, D.C. is a "wedge of nigger life" (Toomer 41), a little slice of the larger world. It's characterized by the colors white and red, of blood and the white of a majority. The wedge is again brought in as rusting, unable to split the city though encouraged to try with "Split it! In two! Again! Shred it!" (41). The wedges shine in the sunlight, perhaps symbolizing the action of the people in this time as they work to form an identity through music and art. The wedges break down the walls of oppression, making the wet wood, perhaps hatred, dry up and blow away. Class structure might have wedges driven in as people seem more as equals here. Wedges carry many different meanings in this piece, both as a bit of life and a way to change life.