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American Poetry Presentation
a song in the front yard
BY GWENDOLYN BROOKS
Simile: "Front yard" and " Back yard"
symblosim: "I've stayed in the front all my life."
Imagery: "Where it's rough and untended and hungry weed grows.
Symbolism: "A rose"
Irony: "Where it's rough and untended and hungry weed grows."
This poem was written by an African American woman at a time before desegregation.
In the 1940's this front yard was very much a white man's world; a world before the explosions of women's suffrage, and racial desegregation in a country that was literally white or black.
Brooks uses her knowledge of racial segregation and uses the back yard as a place where people hide things, for example white people hiding the black people in the backyard.
Presented by: Nereyda Gutierrez, Michael Vasquez, Jasmine Morales, and Alejandra Raygoza
I’ve stayed in the front yard all my life.
I want a peek at the back
Where it’s rough and untended and hungry weed grows.
A girl gets sick of a rose.
I want to go in the back yard now
And maybe down the alley,
To where the charity children play.
I want a good time today.
They do some wonderful things.
They have some wonderful fun.
My mother sneers, but I say it’s fine
How they don’t have to go in at quarter to nine.
My mother, she tells me that Johnnie Mae
Will grow up to be a bad woman.
That George’ll be taken to Jail soon or late
(On account of last winter he sold our back gate).
But I say it’s fine. Honest, I do.
And I’d like to be a bad woman, too,
And wear the brave stockings of night-black lace
And strut down the streets with paint on my face.
This girl simply says that she wants to be a kid but her mother is holding her back
Her mother doesn't let her be a kid because she thinks that the other kids are bad and that they will become bad people in the future.
Her mother doesn't realize that she just wants to be able to make mistakes and grow from them.
Seems like she is in her rebellious stage in life
Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks was an American poet. She has won a Pulitzer prize for one of her piece of works in 1950. She was also appointed Poet Laureate of Illinois in 1968. She was born on June 7, 1917 in Topeka, Kansas. She then moved to Chicago when she was 6 years old. She went by the nickname "Gwendie" and graduated from Wilson Junior College in 1936. She wrote Negro Hero, The Mother, A Street in Bronzeville and many more poems. She then passed away on December 3, 2000 at the age of 83.
Gwendolyn’s argument in her poem was that she would of liked her mother to allow her to visit the less safer route in things sometimes. Like she refers to it as going to the backyard where it is rough and untended and where hungry weeds grow. Her mom is just worried about her and wants to keep all the dangers of the world away from her as much as possible. She wants to stay out later and maybe go play with the kids that are out there playing which she calls the charity kids. She wants to be able to fall down sometimes or explore the different flaws in the world. Which is necessary in life to be able to learn and build off of it to make yourself a better person then you were before. Like many people have said before somethings happen for a reason it’s up to you to learn from it or not.
Bookstove. September 13, 2010. http://bookstove.com/book-talk/analysis-of-gwendolyn-brooks-a-song-from-the-front-yard/. Bookstove 2013. 6/18/2013
Helium. April 30, 2007/November 28, 2012. http://www.helium.com/items/308909-symbolism-in-the-poetry-of-gwendolyn-brooks. 2002-2013 Helium, Inc. 6/18/2013
Mslinder. https://mslinder.wikispaces.com/A+Song+in+the+Front+Yard. Tangient LLC. 6/19/2013