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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 238

Lines 1-5

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The poem's title, "Business," like the titles of the four other poems included in the suite with "Business," alerts readers that the poem will address a universal subject. The other poems, ‘‘Atmosphere," "Love," "Music," and "Memory," are all about figuratively explaining the meaning of their titles. All of the titles are abstract nouns, that is, they are ideas more than images. As with the other poems, "Business" begins by attributing what is said to Don Arturo, a persona Cruz uses to evoke the sense of folk wisdom. The term ' 'persona'' derives from the Latin term dramatis personae and literally means the mask worn by actors in classical theater. Today persona usually refers to the character that the "I" in a lyrical or narrative poem takes on. Cruz's poem, however, is reported, rather than direct, speech. "Don" means sir, and is a title formerly attached to the last name of a Spaniard of high rank. By beginning his story with the words ‘‘There was a man,’’ Arturo signals that the anecdote belongs to the realm of myth. The musician is as much entertainer as he is businessman, and readers are meant to sympathize with him. Although the poem does have a ' 'folklorish'' quality to it, it is important to know that Cruz bases the poem on an actual man named Don Arturo, a Cuban immigrant and friend of Cruz who lives in New York City.

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