Topic: Imagery in this poem? help porFAVOR.?
June 27, 2019 / By Aretha Question:
I'm writing an anyalitical essay on this poem, one of my points is the usage of Imagery... i can spot some uses but not all! please help. i will choose a best answer, and the help is much appreciated!
Southern trees bear a strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees
Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.
Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.
--------------------------------- (Strange fruit) by abel meerepolo.
Zak | 4 days ago
blood on the leaves
blood at the root
black bodies swinging
strange fruit hanging
the parts in the poem that make you shiver are the imagery parts. For example, bulging eyes and twisted mouth, pastoral scene of the gallant south, crows to pluck, swinging in the southern breeze, all those things. Also, I don't think that is by Abel Meerepolo, I think it's by Billie Holiday. Hope that helps.
“Strange Fruit,” the haunting song about lynching in America that was written more than 60 years ago, was first recorded by the famed jazz singer Billie Holiday in 1939. Since then it has been recorded by some three dozen other performers, including black folk singer Josh White, the great jazz artists Abbey Lincoln, Carmen McRae and Nina Simone, pop performers Sting and UB40, operatic soprano Shirley Verrett, and contemporary vocalists Tori Amos and Cassandra Wilson.
The almost iconic status of this unusual song—not in the folk-song tradition, not quite jazz—was reflected in the inclusion of a segment of Holiday’s rendition of it in Ken Burns’ flawed but nonetheless comprehensive “Jazz” history broadcast on public television last year. The song has also been the subject, within the last couple of years, of a new book as well as a film documentary.
“Strange Fruit” has been called the original protest song. It is simple, spare but effective poetry. At a time when political protest was not often expressed in musical form, the song depicted lynching in all of its brutality. The three short verses are all the more powerful for their understated and ironic language. The juxtaposition of a beautiful landscape with the scene of lynching, the smell of magnolias with that of burning flesh, the blossoms more typically associated with the Southern climate with the “strange fruit” produced by racial oppression—this imagery conjures up the essence of racist reaction. Racism in America stands indicted and exposed by these lines, with no need at all for a more didactic or agitational message.
“Strange Fruit” was released on record in 1939, and quickly became famous. It had a particular impact on the politically aware, among artists, musicians, actors and other performers, and on broader layers of students and intellectuals. David Margolick’s book, Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday, Café Society and an Early Cry for Civil Rights, quoting numerous prominent figures, demonstrates how the song articulated the growing awareness and anger that was to find expression in the rise of the mass civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s.
Nevertheless, few of the millions who have heard “Strange Fruit” are aware of its genesis and history. It was written in the mid-1930s by a New York City public school teacher, Abel Meeropol, who was at that time a member of the American Communist Party, and who later became better known as the adoptive father of the two sons of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, the Jewish couple who were executed in 1953 for the alleged crime of giving the secret of the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union.
This history is related in Margolick’s book, as well as in the film, Strange Fruit, which received its world premiere last month at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. The focus of the book is largely on Billie Holiday and her relationship to “Strange Fruit.” The film, directed by Joel Katz, gives greater emphasis to Meeropol’s story, and also presents interviews dealing with the historic and contemporary significance of the song. Funded in part by the Independent Television Service, which is connected to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, it may be shown in the future on public television. In the coming months it is scheduled at various universities and at film festivals in Philadelphia, Montreal, Toronto, San Francisco and elsewhere.
It is the role of Meeropol, the composer of this song, that explains why it was shown at the Jewish Film Festival, an annual event at Lincoln Center in New York. A prolific poet and songwriter, Meeropol was born in New York in 1903 into an immigrant family. Like many of his background and his generation, he was radicalized by the Russian Revolution, the danger of fascism, and the Great Depression.
For decades the story has circulated, given credence by Billie Holiday’s autobiography Lady Sings the Blues (co-written by William Dufty), that the song was written specifically for Holiday, or even that she had a hand in writing it herself. Meeropol credited Holiday for her unique and influential version of the song, but he insisted on setting the record straight when Lady Sings the Blues appeared in the 1950s.
The poem was written in the 1930s, after Meeropol saw a gruesome photo of a Southern lynching, and long before he met Holiday. At the time he was teaching at De Witt Clinton High School in the Bronx. “Strange Fruit” was first printed as “Bitter Fruit” in the January 1937 issue of The New York Teacher, the publication of the Teachers Union, in which the Communist Party then played a dominant role.
Writing under the pen name of Lewis Allan, the names of his two children who were stillborn, Meeropol set the poem to music on his own. For the first two years after it was written, the song was performed in political circles, at meetings, benefits and house parties. In early 1939, however, Billie Holiday was performing in the newly-opened nightclub Café Society in lower