Commentaire du poème 'Strange fruit' de Lewis Allan, maintes fois interprété, notamment par Billie Holiday
[...] The word “strange” underlines that Blacks were considered as strangers. It means that the fruit is weird, unnatural, not familiar The emotional power of this poem is due to the mention of a traditional rural life in the South of the USA that it confronts with hard reality of lynching. That aspect is particularly present in the 2nd quatrain What's more, the author makes a contrast between positive and negative connotations = in the one hand there are positive connotations (“magnolia” + “pastoral” + + “poplar trees”) It's the positive vision of the South so Nature in the South of America is under a positive light. [...]
[...] Here, the use is ironic ( anti-pastoral scene! Then, we can observe that the author never uses the word “lynching” in this poem in order to make things stronger and it would break the metaphor! In Hitchcock's movies, violence, death, murder are just evoked : we often don't see them ( To my mind, when sth is implicit or implied, it's stronger! To conclude, the song SF contributes to remind public opinion of the persistence of the lynching. Indeed it is very recent poem whereas for instance Victor Hugo evoked that practise in his work Misérables” which was published in 1862. [...]
[...] Civil rights movement and above all Civil rights act of 1964 which shows the illegality of discrimination with Martin Luther King : he contributed to the equality of rights between Blacks and Whites. Pastor (1929-1968) who struggled for peace and against poverty. He pronounced one of the most famous speech of the world have a dream” ( I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. (He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964!!! [...]
[...] KKK : criminal org° developed in the South of the USA. The members, who are WASP, are racist against Black people that's why they wear white costumes and they are used to burning They organize ceremonies at night (costume : cone hood + mask + gone) ( US gvt + Church aren't reactive, ashamed about the KKK, which had closed relationships with religion. ( The name comes from the greek (=cercle) ( Logo : red circle with a white cross and a drop of flood ( created in 1865, the KKK still exists today. [...]
[...] Moreover, the last stanza describes the evolution of a fruit, more precisely its destruction. Natural way of things. Cycle is starting over and over again. The repetition announces and encourages the end of the fruit. Also, the expression “bitter crop” alludes to what is unacceptable, an extremely bad taste Last words to finish the metaphor and stress it because it denounces the actions of the KKK. It is at this moment that we understand this poem : it deals with racism. Besides, I have never read a more ironic text than this one. [...]
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