Ballad of Birmingham

Essay by redadmiralHigh School, 12th grade September 2004

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Randall starts the poem ballad of birmingham with a soft sad tone . Randall wrote this poem based on a historical event of the bombing in 1963 of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s church Birmingham.

This poem uses the ballad principle of the innocent questioner and the wiser respondent but it changes the entity of knowledge from fate to racial politics. The child is the conventional innocent, while the mother understands the violence of this political moment. There is a conversation between a mother and her daughter, the daughter in the poem asks permission to attend a civil rights rally, the loving and fearful mother refuses to let her go down town but allows her to go to church instead, the mother, however, still believes that there is a place safe from racial hatred. She suggests that her daughter may go to church instead, and sing in the children's choir.

Then the poet gives details so we know she is a black girl. afterward he described that the mother smiled when she thought that by sending her little girl to church she would be safe there. Then he said it was the last smile on her face. Thus he prepared the reader for something bad. After that he shocks the reader very strong when the mother hears the explosion she runs like crazy from fear searching for her child. At the end, the child's body and the mother's naive faith in the limits of hatred and violence have been destroyed as the ballad leaves the mother transfixed among the "bits of glass and brick," where she can find only her little girl's shoe but not the girl herself.

This leads to a fact that the last word in life is not for human but for fate. That no matter...