The “Ballad of Birmingham” is a poem created to remember a horrific event and view a strong relationship between a mother and her daughter during the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham, Alabama. Dudley Randall expresses their relationship through a ballad, as if writing a hymn to remember a strong bond between a mother and child, only to have the bond ripped away by racial violence. Through Randall’s dialog between the daughter and mother, the reader can sense the close bond as the daughter pleads:
“Mother dear, may I go downtown
Instead of out to play,
And march the streets of Birmingham
In a Freedom March today?” (1-4)
The daughter wants to help her fellow African Americans whom are struggling for their rights and march along side them “To make our country free” (11). The mother wants to protect her child, like any mother would and responds:
“No, baby, no, you may not go,
For the dogs are fierce and wild,
And the clubs and hoses, guns and jails
Aren’t good for a little child.” (5-8)
The mother fears for the safety of her child from all the violence and allows her to sing in the children’...
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...omparison of summer to his love through personification, crossed rhyming, and metaphors. All three poets created a remembrance of strong relationships so readers can remember them forever.
Jonson, Ben. "To Celia." 1898. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. By X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 6th ed. Boston: Longman, 2010. 520. Print. Compact Edition.
Randall, Dudley. "Ballad of Birmingham." 1894. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. By X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 6th ed. Boston: Longman, 2010. 526-27. Print. Compact Edition.
Shakespeare, William. "Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?." 1894. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. By X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 6th ed. Boston: Longman, 2010. 501. Print. Compact Edition.
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