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The memory of monsters: That bleak thought

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Alicia Pinchok

on 16 February 2015

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Transcript of The memory of monsters: That bleak thought

Summary
Poem
The memory of monsters: That bleak thought
should be confined to a horror-movie world.
A horror classic, in which a blind girl hears, one by one, the windows broken out, an ax at the front door. In the onslaught of terror, as a hate-filled body hurls itself against her door, her senses swirl around one prayer: Please, God, forget me not. The body-snatchers jiggle the doorknob, werewolves and vampires slaver after blood, the circus of nightmares is here. She screams, he screams, neighbors with names he knows, a mob heartless and heedless, answering to no god, tears through the patchwork drapery of our dreams.
Synthesis cont.
Text to text:
This poem could be compared to points brought up in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, in Lee's book it talks about how when people are in mobs they get caught up in something called "mob mentality" where they loose track of what is important in life and they go on a rampage. This theory about mobs is brought up in this poem when it says "She screams, he screams, neighbors with names he know, a mob heartless and heedless, answering to no god."
Main Idea
The main idea of this poem is that Emmett Till walked into Mississippi basically blind to the racism that was present there.
The memory of monsters: That bleak thought by Marilyn Nelson
Reflection
The memory of monsters: That bleak thought should be confined to a horror-movie world.
Main Idea
This is the main idea because Emmett Till, just like the blind girl referenced to in this poem both had no idea what was going on. Although Emmett was not physically blind; he was still unable to fathom the racist ways of the South just like a blind individual wouldn't be able to see what was about to happen.
What I take away from this poem is that fear is everywhere in this world and any ordinary person can be a "monster" in your life. You also can't trust anybody because you never know if they are your friend or a monster in disguise waiting to act at a weak moment.
Context
A horror classic, in which a blind girl hears, one by one, the windows broken out, an ax at the front door.
In the onslaught of terror, as a hate-filled body hurls itself against her door, her senses swirl around one prayer: Please, God, forget me not.
The body-snatchers jiggle the doorknob, werewolves and vampires slaver after blood, the circus of nightmares is here.
She screams, he screams, neighbors with names he knows, a mob heartless and heedless, answering to no god, tears through the patchwork drapery of our dreams,
Emmett Till's death can be compared to a horror movie and the incident that happened to him should stay within a fictional horror movie, not come out into the real world.
Bleak- bare, desolate and windswept
Slaver- a dealer and owner of slaves
Heedless- careless, thoughtless unmindful
Drapery- coverings, hangings, clothing, etc., of fabric
Wait Until Dark- a horror movie from the late sixties

Art
This line relates to the movie, "Wait Until Dark".
This line explains how the people trying to break in monsters/savages and will not give up until they have broken down the door.
There are people attempting to get in, and the girl is confused about what is happening since she is blind.
The meaning of the artwork is that murders like Emmett Till's occurred often during this time period, but Emmett put a face and became an icon for all of the people who were killed before him. The horizontal rectangles are used to represent coffins, and the outlines of people on the side of the coffins are depicting another victim of murder.
The flowers and the brown color show remorse and they are telling the people that what happened was bad, but we need to continue moving forward and make change.
Synthesis
The girl and the people coming after her are screaming. The evil people coming after her are angry and have no mercy.
Volta
The turning point, also known as the Volta, of this poem is when the text states," The body snatchers jiggle the door knob, werewolves and vampires slaver after blood, the circus of nightmares is here." Before this point in the poem the topic was more specifically about the movie and after this turning point the subject is more regarding about human nature and in relation to Emmett Till.
This poem directly alludes to a movie called "Wait Until Dark". This was a good choice for a movie because of the similarities in the antagonist of the situation . Emmett Till's monsters and the monsters in this movie are similar. In the movie a blind woman is attacked by ordinary people, just as Emmett Till was.
Summary Continued
Overall Summary
Marilyn Nelson compares Emmett's death to the movie,
Wait Until Dark
where there are people trying to attack a blind girl who was unaware of what was going to happen until it was already happening to her. Emmett was also put into a similar situation where people were out to get him and he was unaware of what was going to happen because he walked into the south, blind to the harsh racism. He was unaware that because of his small action, perpetrators would be out to get him and he only knew what was happening when they came and took him away.
Theme
There is a real life event that took place that this poem alludes to. The National Tragedy of the holocaust has some equivalences to this poem. By way of example the people were affected by the way they were treated just as the blind woman was. They were both unaware or "in the dark" about what was going to happen.
There are two themes present in this poem and they are that awful things can and do happen to innocent and good people, and also that no one really knows what is going to happen until it is has already happened.
Synthesis
Created By: Sidney Mose, Alicia Pinchok, and Annie Brigham
6th hour
Full transcript