In his poem "Ballad of Birmingham," Dudley Randall uses irony to show how the racist regime of the Jim-Crow-era South made even the safest places dangerous. The poem also uses dramatic irony to heighten the tragedy of the Birmingham bombing of 1963.Know More
"Ballad of Birmingham" has a subtitle stating that it is a response to the 1963 bombing of a church in Alabama that killed four young girls. The first part of the poem consists of a dialogue between a mother and daughter. The daughter asks whether she can go march "in a Freedom March today." The mother denies this request, citing the police's use of violent crowd control. The mother tells her daughter to go sing in the children's choir at church instead.
The fifth and sixth stanza of the poem describe how the daughter gets dressed for church and how happy her mother is that she knows her daughter is in a "sacred place." However, the final two stanzas show how her mother's trust was misplaced. The fact that the bomber targeted a church is ironic, for a church is supposed to be a holy, safe place.
By informing the audience that the poem is a response to the Birmingham bombing of 1963, Randall creates dramatic irony. The trust that the mother places in the safety of the church is entirely misplaced, and her innocence, as well as that of her idealistic daughter, make the coming tragedy all the more wrenching because the audience sees it coming.Learn More
A bio poem is a biography in the form of a poem that follows a strict form with 11 lines, each listing specific characteristics about a person. Bio poems are used frequently in introductory lessons about poetry writing.Full Answer >
The complete text of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "The Song of Hiawatha" runs over one hundred pages and is too long to be reprinted here. A much-anthologized excerpt begins: "On the shores of Gitche Gumee, / Of the shining Big Sea Water, / Stood Nokomis, the old woman, / Pointing with her finger westward, / O'er the water pointing westward, / To the purple clouds of sunset."Full Answer >
The longest poem ever written is "The Mahabharata" by Vyasa the respected Hindu figure. He was believed to be the incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu. The Mahabharata is 10 times longer than the Iliad and Odyssey combined. It has over 1.8 million words and more than 100,000 verses.Full Answer >
A good poem about friends growing apart is "Shake Hands" by A. E. Housman. This short poem addresses the pain of parting from someone who is no longer a friend and ends with a promise that the narrator will always be there for the former friend.Full Answer >