The Jam By Stephanie Lenix Summary

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“The Jam” by Stephanie Lenox is a poem that uses wry humor detailing the never ending battle of paper jams that occur within office copy machines. The poem can be found in the book The Business, a collection of poems that center around office politics and the daily grind of a typical office environment. Lenox, according to Stephanie, lives with her family in Salem, Oregon, and is the winner of the 2015 Colorado Prize in Poetry. This is a free verse poem in that it does not contain rhyme scheme or meter. The poem is made up of twenty nine lines in total. The poem contains varying lengths of stanzas. There are two each of one line stanzas, couplets, and quatrains, and five tercets. The syllables each line contains ranges from six to…show more content…
There is no specific description of the office itself, but there are details given regarding the copy machine, such as: the magnets, gears, latches, levers and covers. The situation of the poem is simple the participant speaker is recounting the many times they have encountered a paper jam in the copy machine. The action of the poem is the process required to identify the location of the paper jam in order to dislodge it from the machine. The speaker gives a detailed account of the many locations that require inspection in order to correct the problem. There is also action in stanza six, where it describes a woman being crushed by a door. The tone of the poem is sardonic. The author uses words like despair to describe a paper jam, which seems a bit excessive unless you are having to interrupt workflow continuously to dislodge one. It is obvious in the poem that this process has been repeated numerous times based on line ten where is says the only consistency is that the copier will jam. In the sixth stanza it describes a woman being crushed by her office door due to a faulty hinge, the author follows that information by saying little pieces run or ruin the world. There is an obvious bitterness towards the defective machinery or manufactured items that we have or use in our daily
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