Brother AACOOLDRE : How Frank Marshall Davis poem 47th street might be typologically linked with Obama’s poem “Pop”?


Well-Known Member
Jul 26, 2001
How Frank Marshall Davis poem 47th street might be typologically linked with Obama’s poem “Pop”?

1. The mentioning of Orphan Annie and Popeye (Anne is Obama’s mother’s name)

2. A Green bus that snorts

3. Spotted soul of a straining street

4. A canal flowing in Mathematically precise channels

5. Impending death of a woman

So what do we have in Obama’s “Pop” poem?:

1. The Pop & Popeye comparison. All throughout the Pop poem Obama several times talks about his eyes.

2. A Green young man who pulls out a mirror from under a seat he has been saving. This is an allusion to a line of cocaine to be snorted through the nose.

3. A spot on the brain that may be squeezed out

4. Twice he states Pop “Switches channels”

5. Pop recites an old poem before his mother died

Some how some way my book Poor Dre’s Almanac was hacked into and this information was edited out. I’ve now updated my book to put all of this information back in. I’m glad they did this because I re-read both poems and found more information to link up.With that said I’m posting Frank Marshall Davis poem 47th street in its full text:

47th Street

By Frank Marshall Davis

From hollow backs

Of uneasy packhorse buses

Whinnying nervously

At 47th street street intersections

In Chicago’s Congo

Caucasian faces peer momentarily

In curious contempt

Then turn back to “Orphan Annie”, “Popeye”

News of the juiciest murders

Or bargain basement sales

Unconsciously sure of superiority

Within furnished apartment minds

As green buses snort

From gasoline spurs

Then gallop on.

But a new moon

Lingering longer

Sees the spotted soul

Of this straining street

I have watched a new moon crawl

Like a pale and eager child

To a lean building

And rest its white face

On the creased dark edge

Then look in platinum wonder

Upon the restless canal

Of 47th street below

Flowing in mathematically precise channels

Between cement walks.

Besides the beds of the deathly sick

Like an aged angel

Bathing souls with purple prayers

Refusing to leave before life left

And the town that had known her

Only as a name and gray-haired virgin

Now praised her unselfishness

Shared its most fragile secrets

And erected its new hospital in her honor

But it was not for these things

That Samantha Wilson labored

Knowing death eyed her closely

Dreading eternity friendless

She was arranging for companions

Among the fatally sick she’d tended

To be watchfully waiting

In that misty place

Beyond the grave.



Well-Known Member
Jul 26, 2001
HOW Obama’s Poem links to his house visits with Frank Davis:

His real father

Pop (written in 1981 at Occidental College issue of Feast recalling his visit to Frank Davis house in 1979 before he left for college). I present the Davis/Obama antedotes:

By Barack Obama

Sitting in his seat, a seat broad and broken

In, sprinkled with ashes,

Pop switches channels, takes another

Shot of Seagrams, neat, and asks

(neat=straight whiskey) [this opening line matches “Hesitation blues Frank Davis loved to recite]

What to do with me, a green young man

Who fails to consider the

Flim and flam of the world, since

Things have been easy for me;

I stare hard at his face, a stare

That deflects off his brow;

I'm sure he's unaware of his

Dark, watery eyes, that

Glance in different directions,

And his slow, unwelcome twitches,

Fail to pass.

I listen, nod,

Listen, open, till I cling to his pale,

Beige T-shirt, yelling,

Yelling in his ears, that hang

With heavy lobes, but he's still telling

His joke, so I ask why

He's so unhappy, to which he replies . . .

But I don't care anymore, cause

He took too **** long, and from

Under my seat, I pull out the

Mirror I've been saving; I'm laughing,

(mirror for a line of cocaine?)

Laughing loud, the blood rushing from his face

To mine, as he grows small,

A spot in my brain, something

That may be squeezed out, like a

Watermelon seed between

Two fingers.

Pop takes another shot, neat, [Neat means straight without water or ice]

Points out the same amber

Stain on his shorts that I've got on mine and

Makes me smell his smell, coming [In book he smells the breath of Davis]

From me; he switches channels, recites an old poem

He wrote before his mother died, [Gramps mom died when he was 8 in 1926 Davis was 20 in 1925 and he wrote poems in high school and college]

Stands, shouts, and asks

For a hug, as I shink, my [This hug is called embrace with Old man in Dreams from my Father p302 Shink =literally means “to be hit in the face with a penis”]

("shink" can mean in urban slang to become awkward.)

Arms barely reaching around

His thick, oily neck, and his broad back; 'cause [ Black men have oily necks not white]

I see my face, framed within

Pop's black-framed glasses

And know he's laughing too.

-- Barack Obama
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