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A song in the front yard

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by

Keri Stein

on 29 October 2013

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Transcript of A song in the front yard

By: Gwendolyn Brooks A song in the front Yard Gwendolyn Brooks Gwen was an African American
Part of the upper class
She was born June 17, 1917 in Topeka, Kansas. She was raised in Chicago.
Parents: David and Keziah Brooks
Grew up in middle of segregation
Went to three different high schools. One of which was an all white school.
Attended College at Wilson Junior College (graduated 1936)
Married Henry Bakely Jr. in 1939, and had 2 children named Henry and Nora
Died on December 3, 2000 of cancer Writings Began writing at 13 years old
In 1930 "Eventide" was published in American Childhood Magazine
Most of her writings tell the life of African-Americans
Influenced by the writings of Richard Wright
Published 75 poems by the age of 16 Inspiration Awards and Achievements First African-American to win Pulitzer Prize, for her poem "Annie Allen"
Achieved National Fame for "A street in Bronzeville" in 1945
She was named the Illinois' Poet Laureate in 1968
Inducted into the National Woman's Hall of Fame in 1988
Guggenheim Fellowship Tone/Mood Symbolism


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. Bibliography http://teacherlink.ed.usu.edu/tlresources/units/brynes-famous/gbrooks.html
http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/a f/brooks/life.htm
http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/a-song-in-the-front-yard/ 1 ~Gwendolyn Brooks Gwendolyn was inspired by Harlem Renaissance poets Paul Dunba and Langston Hughes
She learned that while writing her poems they were not going to please everyone
Her poems where associated with African-American youths in the mid-twentieth century
Some of her famous poems like "A song in the front yard" and "We Real Cool" where based off her own personal experiences Front Yard: An environment where there is order, front yards show the best of the house. The upper class is expected to have everything they need
Rose: She has been shelterd from the truth, wants something new besides seeing the same structure and order in her life.
Grass is not always greener on the other side, the little girl wishes she could go explore and learn new things A child trying to figure out why she is not allowed to associate with people that were the rougher crowd
She feels naieve, wants to be a "bad woman" since she desirers to go play with the other children and her mother disagrees. Imagery The rose helps the reader relate to the front and back yard, since every rose has its thorns
The front yard is structure, and that is compared to the upper class
The back yard contains the"rough and unattended and hungry weeds" (3). Which compares to the rougher crowd of people that she was not raised with
Full transcript