Nancy Reddy’s “The Case of the Double Jinx”

Poem: The Case of the Double Jinx
Poet: Nancy Reddy
Magazine: Anti-
Blogger: L. Dunbar

The title of the poem once again intrigued me to read it.  I am realizing just how important titles can be.  I love the word Jinx, how it looks, how it sounds, and what it means:

jinx |jiNGks|
a person or thing that brings bad luck.
verb [ with obj. ] (usu. be jinxed)
bring bad luck to; cast an evil spell on: the play is jinxed.

I also believe that you can jinx yourself, so I decided to check out this poem.
The first stanza of the poem starts off with a reference to Nancy Drew- who I LOVE.  The images Reddy creates in this poem really come to life in my head, because I can relate to many of them.  I like how she creates the image by using “you’re” and “you” because you can really put yourself in those shoes.  The first stanza makes the “you” seem confident, smart, and pretty much perfect, but that changes as the poem goes on. The consistent use of alliteration helps the poem flow, and I love how it sounds out loud, for instance “wasp-waisted, daredevil dectetive, eagle-eyed, the smugglers are setting sail.”

The image of “He’s a wishbone saved beside the kitchen sink.” Really sticks out to me because my grandparents ALWAYS have a wishbone sitting above the sink.  This poem is almost personal to me because of how I can relate to the images she creates, but is not quite personal because I have never been in that situation.

I don’t quite understand the Jinx that the poet refers to, but in my opinion, the poet believes that “you” jinx yourself when “you” obsess over things you cant control.  “You” try not to jinx yourself by thinking or speaking of the man, but in the end “You” do.  Later in the poem she writes, “She’s a foxtrot.  She’s a jinx and you can’t speak.” I believe this means that the situation “you’re” in cannot be controlled, and you can try to not think about something, but your obsessions can easily take over your mind and your life.

Published by


The literary journal of the University of Illinois at Springfield.

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