Essay on Analysis Of The Poem ' Ballad Of Birmingham '

Essay on Analysis Of The Poem ' Ballad Of Birmingham '

Length: 1206 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In 1969, Dudley Randall published his poem “Ballad of Birmingham” in response to the historical event of the bombing in 1963 of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s church by white terrorists. It is a dialogue between mother and daughter during which, the daughter asks her mother for going out to join the Freedom March, and eventually, she ends up dying in an explosion of the church. The poem has become the greatest work of Randall, and it leaves the readers with a deep emotion about tragedies due to the segregation in the 1960s.
Dudley Randall was born in Washington, D.C., on January 14, 1914. His earliest recollection of composing a poem was when his mother took him to a band concert. Impressed by the big bass drums and bass horns, the four-year-old boy came home and wrote a poem to the tune of "Maryland, My Maryland." When Randall was nine years old, his family moved to Detroit, Michigan. By the time he was thirteen, his first published poem appeared in the Detroit Free Press. In 1943, Randall joined the U.S. Army Air Corps where he served as a supply sergeant in the Signal Corps. After the war, he went to Wayne State University and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1949. He also completed his Master 's Degree in Library Science at the University of Michigan in 1951. Randall had a short time to work at Morgan State and Lincoln University. Then he became librarian and poet at the University of Detroit, retiring in 1974.
Randall is generally known to have written simple and realistic styled poems. In 1962 Randall became interested in Boone House, a black cultural center which had been founded by Margaret Danner, an African American poet. Many his following works were affected by the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. Typical...


... middle of paper ...


... daughter’s shoe. The last two lines switches back to quotations which create an unanswered question of a sorrowful mother: “Oh, here’s the shoe my baby wore/ But, baby, where are you?” This is a strong ending to an emotion-filled poem, and the use of question leaves the readers an unspeakable answer.
In conclusion, “Ballad of Birmingham” is a mournful song. It is based on a tragic event which caused the death of four innocent girls. Although the poem only portrays an unnamed girl, it is a tribute to all four deceased girls. More significantly, it is the voice of all anonymous victims of racism. Randall elaborately uses figurative language to insert not only the pity for the dead girls, but the whole theme of racial discrimination. Along with Civil Rights Movement, the poem marks a historical phase in American history, and it is a legacy of poetry heritage forever.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Analysis Of The Poem ' Ballad Of Birmingham '

- In 1969, Dudley Randall published his poem “Ballad of Birmingham” in response to the historical event of the bombing in 1963 of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s church by white terrorists. It is a dialogue between mother and daughter during which, the daughter asks her mother for going out to join the Freedom March, and eventually, she ends up dying in an explosion of the church. The poem has become the greatest work of Randall, and it leaves the readers with a deep emotion about tragedies due to the segregation in the 1960s....   [tags: Poetry, African American, Racism, Stanza]

Better Essays
1206 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on Dudley Randall's Poem "Ballad of Birmingham"

- Dudley Randall was born on January 19, 1914 in Washington D.C. and died on August 2, 2000 in Southfield, Michigan. His mother Ada Viloa was a teacher and his father Arthur George Clyde Randall was a Congregational minister. His father was very much into politics because of that Dudley and his brother would listen to prominent black speakers. When Randall was about nine years old he and his family move to Detroit, Michigan in 1920. By the time he was thirteen he had his first poem published in the Detroit Free Press....   [tags: Poetry Analysis ]

Better Essays
548 words (1.6 pages)

Ballad of Birmingham by Dudley Randall Essay

- Ballad of Birmingham by Dudley Randall In 'Ballad of Birmingham,' Dudley Randall illustrates a conflict between a child who wishes to march for civil rights and a mother who wishes only to protect her child. Much of this poem is read as dialogue between a mother and a child, a style which gives it an intimate tone and provides insight to the feelings of the characters. Throughout the poem the child is eager to go into Birmingham and march for freedom with the people there. The mother, on the other hand, is very adamant that the child should not go because it is dangerous....   [tags: Analysis Ballad Birmingham Dudley Randall Essays]

Better Essays
822 words (2.3 pages)

Analysis Of The Poem ' The Lottery ' Essay

- Love and death; one is hated and avoided by everyone because of its painful truth while the other is adored and sought after because of its sugarcoated lie. Neither can be avoided or talked about lightly yet there are so many stories and poems written about both of these polar opposites that it is hard to get a grasp on reality. The short story The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin, and the poem Ballad of Birmingham by Dudley Randall all represent love and death going hand in hand....   [tags: The Lottery, Short story, Shirley Jackson]

Better Essays
948 words (2.7 pages)

Essay Dudley Randall's Poem Ballad of Birmingham

- Dudley Randall's Poem Ballad of Birmingham The poem 'The Ballad of Birmingham', by Dudley Randall, is based on the historical event of the bombing in 1963 of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s church by white terrorists. It is a poem in which a daughter expresses her interest in attending a civil rights rally and the mother fearful for her daughter's safety refuses to let her go. In the poem the daughter in fighting for the course of the operessed people of her time/generation instead of going out to play....   [tags: Dudley Randall Ballad Birmingham Essays]

Better Essays
585 words (1.7 pages)

Essay about Three Voices in As I Walked out One Evening by W.H. Auden

- ... Auden moved to the United States in 1939 and was granted citizenship seven years later. He met fellow poet Chester Kallman and they developed a personal relationship that was far more sensual than anything he could have ever have with Mann. In fact, their marriage was rumored to have been unconsummated, which would have been demoralized by society, instilling a sense of fragility in the customs of romantic relations during the period (Summers). Auden believed every human to be imperfect and with faults and therefore must learn to love one another: “You shall love your crooked neighbor with your crooked heart” (1065)....   [tags: poem analysis]

Better Essays
1153 words (3.3 pages)

Ballad of Birmingham by Dudley Randall Essays

- The faded voices of choir singers are muffled by a roaring explosion. The sounds from the crumbling building spread down the block. Worn-down bricks, knocked out from underneath each another. Shards of colored glass, shot into the air. Chucks of wood and rubbish litter the sidewalk. Thick smoke and fearful screams saturate the air. A mother’s worse nightmare. In the poem “Ballad of Birmingham” by Dudley Randall, a mother attempted to protect her daughter by sending her to church. However, in the end, the child has her entire life stolen from her....   [tags: church, explosion, love]

Better Essays
674 words (1.9 pages)

An Analysis of Ballad of the Harp-Weaver Essay

- An Analysis of Ballad of the Harp-Weaver Take just a second to read the first eight lines very carefully. Picture yourself as a small child being with your mother or father sitting on their lap as they hold you. It is a good feeling that brings warmth and security to any child or any adult needing to recapture the essence of their childhood. In the first four lines we are to understand that the boy's mother is trying to rub his skin to make him warm. That is what "chafe" means, to warm by rubbing....   [tags: Ballad Harp-Weaver Essays]

Better Essays
926 words (2.6 pages)

Ballad of Birmingham by Dudley Randall Essays

- The Ballad of Birmingham resembles a traditional ballad in that it tells a story in a song-like manner. The didactic tone seeks to teach us something; in this case it’s the theme of needless destruction. There are many devices the author uses to create such a tone and to tell such a story. First of all, the most visible element of importance is the irony. A kid dying in a church where his mom told him to go to be safe is very ironic and it completely portrays the current situation of racial violence in the southern states....   [tags: essays research papers]

Better Essays
684 words (2 pages)

Essay on Explication Ballad of Birmingham

- Explication Ballad of Birmingham In the poem “Ballad of Birmingham”, by Dudley Randall, many different things can be analyzed. The difference in the two translations; one being a literal translation, telling the true meaning of the poem, and the other being a thematic translation, which tells the author’s theme and symbolism used in his/her work. Another thing that all poets have in common is the usage of poetic devices; such as similes, metaphors, and personification. Before translations and devices, readers should first acknowledge the structure of the poem....   [tags: essays papers]

Better Essays
941 words (2.7 pages)