A Stone’s Throw (Poem)
A crowd has caught a woman. The persona implies to the reader that the woman is not decent. She was beautiful, but scared because she had gotten ‘roughed up’ a little by the crowd. The persona states that the woman has experienced men’s hands on her body before, but this crowd’s hands were virtuous. He also makes a proviso that if this crowd bruises her, it cannot be compared to what she has experienced before. The persona also speaks about a last assault and battery to come. He ?ustifies this last assault by calling it ?ustice, and it is ?ustice that feels not only right, but good. The crowd’s ‘?ustice’ is placed on hold by the interruption of a preacher, who stops to talk to the lady. He s!uats on the ground and writes something that the crowd cannot see. “ssentially, the preacher ?udges them, thereby allowing the lady to also ?udge the crowd, leading to the crowd inevitably ?udging itself. The crowd walks away from the lady, still holding stones #which can be seen as a metaphor for ?udgments$ that can be thrown another day.
The persona is making the point that the lady was in fact %&T decent looking.
This device is particularly effective because the word ‘kisses’ is used. ?iss implies something pleasant, but it is actually utili(ed to emphasi(e something painful that has happened to the lady) she was stoned.
The title of the poem is itself a pun on two levels. A stone’s throw is used by many people in the *aribbean to describe a close distance. eg. +She lives a stone’s throw away+. The other use of the title is to highlight the content of the poem. ?t is a figurative stoning, or ?udging, of a woman.
the content of the poem alludes to the story of -ary -agdalene in the *hristian ?ible. See /ohn 0 v 123.
These lines show that the men who were 5holding stones6 believe they are more morally upright than the other men with whom the woman associates.
&ne would think that men with 5virtuous6 hands would have only pure thoughts, but these men intend to stone the woman, who seems utterly defenseless. Also, images of cruelty are used, such as 5bruised6, 5kisses of stone6, 5battery6 and 5frigid rape6.
The tone of the poem is mixed. At times it is almost braggadocious, and then it becomes sarcastic, moving to scornful