Unveiling the Origins of Strange Fruit: The Poem by Lewis Allan (Abel Meeropol)

Categories: Fruit

The tune "Strange Fruit" was very first exposed as a poem written by Abel Meeropol who may be much better acknowledged under his alias, Lewis Allan. "Unusual Fruit" was completed in the late 1930s, the exact same time that African- Americans in the South were being lynched by white supremacist groups in the days of America's post- Abolition movement. Throughout the motion, the tension on seeing no evil and hearing no evil at this time was strongly implemented. Yet, Meeropol opened the eyes of his audience to the unsightly fact about the horrors that African- Americans experienced through the Abolition.

For Billy Holiday, among dozens of artists to carry out "Strange Fruit", this tune has a much deeper significance than what the surface area offers.

As an African-American, she suffered difficulties through the Abolition that many might not imagine. Due to the treatment of blacks and Jim Crow laws, Holiday's father was rejected medical entrance into a mostly white hospital, fell ill, and later on died of internal bleeding.

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She belonged to the Abolition and the Abolition was part of her. This can be validated as soon as she sings the very first words of "Odd Fruit". The tone of her voice supports her personal connection that she shows the tune and its general significance of the treatment of African-Americans throughout the Abolition.

"Odd Fruit" is formed by three short verses that all usage paradoxical and downplayed language that forces the reader to dig deeper into history and discover what this "Strange Fruit" truly is.

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This poem follows a lyric pattern, revealing deep ideas and feelings about the lynching in the South. An elegiac pattern can likewise be drawn out from this poem due to its commemoration to those unusual fruit that died as a direct result of lynching. A rhyme plan of A, A, B, B, C, C, D, D, E, E, F, F is followed enabling the stable repetition of noises to develop a ridiculing beat. The melody is sluggish and communicates a melancholy sensation that Vacation sings so powerfully to a point where it appears as if she might sob. There is a lack in her eyes, an emptiness that places Vacation in her own little world, enabling her to communicate pain and hatred however at the very same time sorrow and anger.

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”, symbolically introduces

the five senses to be analyzed. The lyrics convey a gruesome and sickening atmosphere -- where we feel the rain gather and the wind suck, we see the horror of black bodies hanging from trees and their blood covering leaves, we smell the burnt flesh of the rotten corpses and the magnolias and the bodies rotting in the sun, we taste the bitterness of all the lives and strange fruit that the lynching have claimed, and we hear the crows plucking at the dead bodies’ bulging eyes. This imagery conjures the haunting power that supremacy holds and the death defying damage it can create.

Southern trees bear a strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black body 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 magnolia sweet and fresh,
And the sudden smell of burning flesh!

Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for a tree to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.

Updated: Apr 29, 2023
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Unveiling the Origins of Strange Fruit: The Poem by Lewis Allan (Abel Meeropol). (2017, Jan 27). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/strange-fruit-essay

Unveiling the Origins of Strange Fruit: The Poem by Lewis Allan (Abel Meeropol) essay
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