By Marilyn Nelson
A Coretta Scott King and Printz honor e-book now in paperback. A Wreath for Emmett until eventually is "A relocating elegy," says The Bulletin.
In 1955 humans everywhere in the usa knew that Emmett Louis until eventually used to be a fourteen-year-old African American boy lynched for supposedly whistling at a white girl in Mississippi. The brutality of his homicide, the open-casket funeral held by way of his mom, Mamie until eventually Mobley, and the acquittal of the lads attempted for the crime drew large media awareness. In a profound and chilling poem, award-winning poet Marilyn Nelson reminds us of the boy whose destiny helped spark the civil rights circulation.
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Additional resources for A Wreath for Emmett Till
TO ARIANE. F. THE AUTHOR WOULD LIKE TO EXPRESS HER DEEP GRATITUDE TO THE J. S. GUGGENHEIM MEMORIAL FOUNDATION FOR A FELLOWSHIP, AND TO THE UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE, WHICH FREED HER FROM A YEAR OF TEACHING SO THAT SHE COULD WRITE. Text copyright © 2005 by Marilyn Nelson Illustrations copyright © 2005 by Philippe Lardy All rights reserved. For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, write to Permissions, Houghton Mifflin Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, New York 10003.
This sonnet alludes first to an earlier poem, "The Haunted Oak," by Paul Laurence Dunbar. In Dunbar's poem, an oak tree describes a lynching. The second allusion is to "Strange Fruit," a poem about lynching written by Lewis Allen and made famous as a song by the great blues singer Billie Holiday. Dendrochronology is the science of telling a tree's age by counting the rings in its trunk. III. In this sonnet the tree speaks, describing its long life of witnessing natural deaths and killings, and the one unnatural killing, which was so horrible that it made part of the tree die.
Let me gather spring flowers for a wreath. Not lilacs from the dooryard, but wildflowers I'd search for in the greening woods for hours of solitude, meditating on death. Let me wander through pathless woods, beneath the choirs of small birds trumpeting their powers at the intruder trampling through their bowers, disturbing their peace. I cling to the faith that innocence lives on, that a blind soul can see again. That miracles do exist. In my house, there is still something called grace, which melts ice shards of hate and makes hearts whole.
A Wreath for Emmett Till by Marilyn Nelson