Ballad of Birmingham by Dudley Randall Essays

Ballad of Birmingham by Dudley Randall Essays

Length: 674 words (1.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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. The dramatic situation in the poem is portrayed and developed through Randall’s use of descriptive imagery, dialogue, irony, and a tonal shift.
Randall’s use of descriptive imagery shows the mother’s love for her daughter and sets up the dramatic situation. “She has combed and brushed her night-dark hair” (line 17). Through the carefully combing of her daughter’s hair, the reader can tell the mother takes a tremendous amount of pride in her daughter’s appearance. The quote also shows how profoundly the mother loves her daughter. Then when describing the girl’s shoes and gloves, Randall selects the color white. The color is represents of her purity and innocence.
Descriptive imagery is also dominant in line 29 “She clawed through bits of glass and brick,” allows the reader to vividly picture the mother frantically digging through the crumbling remains of the church in search of the daughter she holds dear to her heart. Clearly picturing the frantic mother the readers can feel how dramatic the situation is and the devastating, emotional impact it will have on the mother’s life. The descriptive imagery adds to the dramatic situation by allowing the reader to picture the mother and bu...


... middle of paper ...


...s “Oh, here’s the shoe my baby wore/but baby, where are you?” The mother then realizes that the church was not a sanctuary as she was led to believe, but a place of extreme violence. The irony of the situation is that in the end, the streets of Birmingham filled with its “clubs and hoses, guns and jails,” (line 7) was a safer place for the child then her local church. The irony adds to the dramatic situation by giving the reader a false sense of hope and then quickly taking it away.
Pushing tears from her eyes, a frantic mother scrambles through what remains of her beloved church. But she does not locate her choir singer. Only a little white shoe and a glove to match. In his poem “Ballad of Birmingham,” David Randall uses descriptive imagery, dialogue, irony, and a tonal shift to give the poem emotion and draw the reader’s attention towards the dramatic situation.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

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)

The Ballad Of Birmingham By Dudley Randall Essay

- I grew up in the Catholic faith, I’ve always been told to pray to God about anything. Giving thanks, repenting, needing help and just someone to talk to when no one else can. When I was in church school I loved to listen to the priest in mass about short story miracles within our community. Church was my sacred house, the one place I felt safe and connected with God whenever I had family or life issues. However, not all sacred places are safe. The poem “Ballad of Birmingham” by Dudley Randall made me realize that the safest places on earth can destroyed by hatred....   [tags: African American, Racism, Racial segregation]

Better Essays
773 words (2.2 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)

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 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)

The Real Life Events Illustrated in The Ballad of Birmingham, by Dudley Randall

- ... Though most of the poem is not dialogue, from what little speaking there is between the mother and the child expresses very mature feelings of someone far beyond her years and seems to be in tune with the world around her. This is shown by the child expressing her desire to march along those who defend civil rights rather than simply “go outside and play” (page 669). Like many young people today, this unnamed child longs to fight for freedom and has voiced her desire. The mother on the other hand, refuses to see her child as a mature young girl, but instead only thinks of her as a child....   [tags: racist, bombing, church]

Better Essays
533 words (1.5 pages)

Ballad Of White Supremacy By Dudley Randall Essay

- Ballad of White Supremacy Maureen O 'Hara once said “In the beginning it was all black and white.”.This reflects on an essential point: all colors-all people- might be understood within these two colors. In the poem “Ballad of Birmingham”, by Dudley Randall, a mother tries to keep her daughter out of harm 's way from cruel white racists. Failing tragically, and results in the only thing left of her daughter, a white shoe. The speakers are the mother and daughter.  Randall uses fearful imagery with intention to show how cruel the racists are....   [tags: Racism, Race, White supremacy, Racial segregation]

Better Essays
1284 words (3.7 pages)

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)

The Ballad Essay

- This essay is about the Ballad, contrasting how the ballad went from an oral tradition to the ballad form known today. The Ballad can be any narrative song, but in technical terms a ballad is a specific literary form. The word ballad comes from the Latin and Italian word “ballare,” meaning “to dance”. Collins, (1985). The second word translation of “ballade” comes from the French language and means "dancing song". Oxford, (1995). Therefore a ballad is a song that tells a story, and was originally a musical accompaniment to a dance....   [tags: Literature History]

Better Essays
1734 words (5 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)