Analysis Of Gwendolyn Brooks 's Poem ' A Song Of The Front Yard ' Essay

Analysis Of Gwendolyn Brooks 's Poem ' A Song Of The Front Yard ' Essay

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Gwendolyn Brooks was an African-American poet most popular throughout the 1950s. Her work spoke volumes in such little words (Mills ¶7). Growing up she knew segregation was present. In “a song in the front yard” Brooks tackled the separation between the rich and the poor. Her stance on social classes is shown through a conceit for the front yard.
By looking at the title of the poem, “a song in the front yard” it sets the location but there is no literal meaning. In the first stanza the persona is identified as a girl. The words “want” and “now” show the same selfish tendencies of a child (5). She wants to experience the backyard but first explains the differences between it and the front yard. Her mother is introduced in the third stanza as the auditor. “My mother sneers, but I say it’s fine” shows the mother disagrees about her child 's wishes to go to the backyard (11). The girl quickly goes against her mother’s word showing a low tolerance for anything she has to say. It is another childish quality the persona portrays. In the end the girl visualizes being a “bad” women in the backyard (18).
From the beginning, the persona views the front yard as a dreaded place she wants to escape. Typically the front yard can be seen from the street. It is also seen as an orderly, inviting, and beautiful place. Most people decorate their front yards with lawn ornaments and flowers. On the other hand, the back yard is not well kept. The persona brings up the “untended and hungry weed[s]” to explain the imperfections of the backyard (3). Then she continues to say, “ A girl gets sick of a rose.” The rich reputation of a rose is the persona’s way of saying being wealthy isn’t all it 's cracked up to be. The idea of the back yard being poor st...


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... was frowned upon by her people. She only saw the good times they were having and wanted to be a part of it (8). The overall rhyme scheme of the poem is ABCC. It is consistent throughout the poem except the last stanza is two couplets. They give the change from childhood to an adult lifestyle. I think it is a lyric poem because it uses many of the poet’s personal insight. Brooks grew up with segregation much like the little girl’s separation between social classes.
The poem “a song in the front yard” uses symbolism to demonstrate the young persona’s desire to play in the back yard. The front yard is a metaphor for the restricted lifestyle of the wealthy. The back yard symbolized the carefree and un-kept lifestyle of the poor. Brooks reinforced the ignorance of a girl to show her acceptance for the lower class. It allowed the persona to close the gap of separation.

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