By Marilyn Nelson
A Coretta Scott King and Printz honor booklet now in paperback. A Wreath for Emmett until eventually is "A relocating elegy," says The Bulletin.
In 1955 humans all around the usa knew that Emmett Louis until used to be a fourteen-year-old African American boy lynched for supposedly whistling at a white lady in Mississippi. The brutality of his homicide, the open-casket funeral held through his mom, Mamie until Mobley, and the acquittal of the lads attempted for the crime drew huge media realization. In a profound and chilling poem, award-winning poet Marilyn Nelson reminds us of the boy whose destiny helped spark the civil rights move.
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Additional info for A Wreath for Emmett Till
Till-Mobley, Mamie, and Christopher Benson. Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime That Changed America. New York: Random House, 2003.
The "blind girl" described here alludes to the 1967 film Wait Until Dark, which starred Audrey Hepburn as a blind girl trapped in her apartment and terrorized by a psychotic killer. In the poem, the monsters turn out to be the same kind of "monsters" who attacked Emmett Till: ordinary people, neighbors, friends. Mob mentality transforms ordinary thinking and caring people into an entity with no mind, no heart, and no God. IX. Awakening from the scary movie, we enter a real-life nightmare, more horrible than a scene from a movie.
A crown of sonnets is a sequence of interlinked sonnets in which the last line of one becomes the first line, sometimes slightly altered, of the next. A heroic crown of sonnets is a sequence of fifteen interlinked sonnets, in which the last one is made up of the first lines of the preceding fourteen. When I decided to use this form, I had seen only one heroic crown of sonnets, a fantastically beautiful poem by the Danish poet Inger Christensen. Instead of thinking too much about the painful subject of lynching, I thought about what Inger Christensen's strategy must have been.