The poem opens with the speaker on the phone with a possible landlady, wanting to rent a room in a boarding house or an apartment. The lodging appears to be adequate: it is not overpriced, the location is not inconvenient, and the landlady does not reside on the premises. However, the speaker fears that he will get the wrong idea from the description of the house and refuses to rent to anyone who lives with parents. This implies that the speaker has already been misled by similar appearances before.
He goes on to say that he is tired of running after women who do not want anything to do with him. It seems that his situation has become too common to warrant further discussion with the potential tenant. At the end of the conversation, he announces that he will go look at other places if the first one fails to interest him. This indicates that he is looking for something particular in a place and that he has no intention of renting any room in which he does not find what he is looking for.
As for the location of the house, it is not specified. We can assume that it is in London because that is where the speaker calls from. However, we cannot conclude much else about it. For example, it may be an apartment in a large building, it may be a single room in a private house, or it could even be a cave or a tree trunk where he sleeps each night.
The poem is about a phone call about renting an apartment between a landlady and the speaker, who is black. The landlady is polite until she hears that the speaker is "African," at which point she demands to know if the speaker's skin is "light" or "black." When told it is black, she says that she will not rent to him.
This shows that the landlady has prejudiced feelings toward people of color. This is apparent because she makes a comment about his being "black" instead of saying "people of color." She also reveals that she views black people as less than human by calling them "boy."
Furthermore, this shows that the landlady is not open-minded about other cultures. She refuses to rent to someone who could be from any country on earth because she is not willing to give everyone equal treatment. This indicates that her own culture is more important to her than others'.
Finally, this shows that the landlady lacks good manners. She makes a rude comment about the speaker's race even though he hasn't said anything yet. Also, she uses the word "boy" when referring to him instead of his name. This demonstrates that she is not proper toward her guests.
In conclusion, the landlady is a very unkind woman who has prejudiced feelings toward people of color. She also has a limited mind and poor manners.
He is conversing with the landlady of the house he is interested in leasing. Sensing that the landlady is about to hang up the phone, he begs her to come meet him so she can see his skin color for herself. The topic of this poem is Caucasian prejudice against Africans. This scene shows how even though African Americans have been given equal rights, they still suffer discrimination based on their skin color.
The poet uses first person point of view because it gives us a direct connection with the character speaking and feeling pain and suffering like him. We learn things about him such as he is lonely and wants someone to meet him so he can show her people of color are not monsters.
Also, using first person point of view allows the poet to express his feelings about racial discrimination in America openly. As he speaks about how terrible it is, he becomes more determined to fight against it.
The speaker of the poem—its lyrical I—is one of the primary players in the phone call. The usage of the personal pronoun "I" (l. 4) or the possessive "my" reveals this (l. 23). The poem begins by revealing that the man is seeking for a place to live. This leads us to believe that he is an immigrant or at least a person who just moved to Boston. He wants to know if there are any apartments for rent and if so, what kind they are.
He starts his inquiry with a real estate agent because it is more efficient than searching online. Agents have access to information about all kinds of things such as who might be looking for apartments, where they are located, etc. They can also give you advice about how much these properties are worth and whether or not they are affordable.
Since the man doesn't want to waste his time with a no-answer or a wrong number, he asks if the woman will help him out. Women are usually given the role of receptionists or secretaries because they are seen as polite enough to receive calls from strange men. Also, since agents work on commission, they need someone to sell products/services. Thus, women are needed to fill this role.
Finally, he asks if she speaks English. Since Americans often don't understand foreign languages, this question makes sense.
"Telephone Discussion" is precisely what its title implies: a fictitious conversation between an African guy and a white landlord with available lodging. Some of the idioms in the poem indicate that the poem is set in England, most likely in London. One such idiom is "copper-bottomed," which here means having an assured income. The phrase comes from an old method of making copper pots durable by coating them with a mixture of copper and tin.
This poem was written by John Donne. Donne was an English metaphysical poet and priest who lived from 1572 to 1631.
Donne was born into a wealthy family in Norfolk, England. He was educated at Cambridge University and the Inns of Court in London. During this time, he developed his poetic talent by contributing poems to various publications. He was ordained as a priest in 1600 but was rejected by both the Catholic and Protestant churches because of his ardent support for executing priests who had been involved in the English civil war. Donne then moved to Brussels, Belgium, where he lived for eight years. When he returned to England, he became a member of King Charles I's inner circle and was appointed secretary to Sir Edward Herbert, ambassador to the Holy See. However, Donne soon fell out of favor with the king and was imprisoned twice for writing poems that were viewed as treasonous to the crown.