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Emmett Till Reflection Poem

Categories: LiteraturePoems

In this sonnet overall explained the lack of conscienceness people had in the 1950s and 1960s. Nelson compares the innocence of nature to the corrupt moralities of humans. The author used words like bloody, monsters, and killed to create a gloomy and dark mood. The tone is somber. The sonnet is not a Shakespearean sonnet because the rhyme scheme is a-a-b-b-c-c-b-d-e-f-d-e-f. I didn’t find any illusions but there are a lot of hidden meanings within the text. For example the Indian pipe is known as the Corpse Plant.

This fungus like organism is opaque, and glows like the moon, with its buds curving downwards and looks like as if death had touched it. If you touch or pick an Indian pipe it would welt almost automatically and blacken, thus the first sentence “Picked, one blackens. ” The bloodroot that Nelson refers to multiple times throughout the sonnet is properly known as Sanguinaria but she probably chose its nickname, bloodroot poppy, because it sounds more revolting.

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The nickname came from the bloody red sap, “Picked, one bla it oozes which the author has “woven” as part of the wreath.

It is found near the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River where Emmett Till had been lynched (surprise surprise)! The white poppy means forgetfulness but instead the author doesn’t want you to forget so she replaces it with the memory of the bloodroot poppy. Near the end of the sonnet the author says “Forgetting would call for consciencelessness” as if she were speaking directly to our conscience and reminding us to never forget Emmett Till or else you are no different than the heartless monsters that killed him.

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Just by asking us “Who could forget (Emmette Till)” makes us remember him more. The last sentence of the sonnet alludes back to the first sentence talking about the moon and the Indian root and how unforgiving both of them are. This idea of consciencelessness is then passed onto the next sonnet where she continues to talk about human ethics. Poem #13 Trillium, apple blossoms, Queen Anne’s lace, The poem is part of a larger narrative, detailing the maiming of Emmett Till. The mood is scared and disgusted.

It is not obvious who is speaking, but they are speaking to the reader directly. The tone of the poem is anguished. The speaker uses dark imagery to give the poem its atmosphere, such as a “gouged eye, watching boots kick a face. ” The poem is written in a traditional sonnet form, with fourteen lines, each with ten syllables. The poet could have written the poems in this traditional, rigid, sonnet form as a sign of respect for Emmett Till. The ideas are presented in a non-chronological way, as a series of similes, listed one after the other.

The poem changes from talking about Emmett’s particular case to talking about humanity in general, then circles back to Emmett getting ruthlessly kicked in the face. All of the sentences in the poem are fragments, as they have no subject. Every sentence begins with “like. ” The poem makes use of enjambments, but punctuation often also coincides with the end of a line. The poet might use punctuation in the middle of a line to highlight the word following it. The diction is very passionate. The words the poet uses carry a lot of weight, and are heavily negatively connotative.

There are two allusions in the poem, the first is an allusion to John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, the second is an allusion to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first inauguration speech, in which he stated that the “only thing we have to fear is fear itself. ” The poem is made up entirely of similes, which have no subject. The repetition of the similes helps drive home the poet’s message. The rhyme scheme of the poem is a b b c c d d a e f g e f g. The poem is written in iambic pentameter. The repetition of the word “like” gives the poem a natural, free-flowing rhythm.

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Emmett Till Reflection Poem. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from

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