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Incident by Natasha Trethewey

English: Race Poetry Analysis
by

Giuseppe Thum

on 27 February 2013

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Transcript of Incident by Natasha Trethewey

Incident by Natasha Threthewey At its peak, the KKK was a powerful, dangerous, and scary group that people didn't want to get involved with. Theme of the Poem The Ku Klux Klan is the name of three far right organizations that believe and believed in extreme ideas such as white supremacy and anti-immigration. They have historically expressed their beliefs through terrorism and violence, such as by lynching and cross burnings. Literary Devices The Poem We tell the story every year—
how we peered from the windows, shades drawn—
though nothing really happened,
the charred grass now green again.

We peered from the windows, shades drawn,
at the cross trussed like a Christmas tree,
the charred grass still green. Then
we darkened our rooms, lit the hurricane lamps.

At the cross trussed like a Christmas tree,
a few men gathered, white as angels in their gowns.
We darkened our rooms and lit hurricane lamps,
the wicks trembling in their fonts of oil.

It seemed the angels had gathered, white men in their gowns.
When they were done, they left quietly. No one came.
The wicks trembled all night in their fonts of oil;
by morning the flames had all dimmed.

When they were done, the men left quietly. No one came.
Nothing really happened.
By morning all the flames had dimmed.
We tell the story every year. Tone Starts with a conversational tone
Shifts to a secretive, concerned tone in Line 3
The rest of the poem is characterized by a repetetive secretive tone Background and Poem's Idea The poem describes a cross burning that takes place near the speaker's home. There are descriptions of the charred aftermath, as well as the burning itself and the secrecy that comes with it. Visual Imagery - Line 4
Symbol - Line 6, Line 9
Situational Irony - Line 6, Line 9
Simile - Line 9, Line 10
Personification - Line 12, Line 15
Understatement/Verbal Irony - Line 3, Line 18
Repetion - Throughout Relation to Race Theme This poem gives a great example of historical violence that came out of intolerance of racial difference.
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