A Comparison of Poems against Racism

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Racism is intolerance and hatred of another race. Many protest poems are used by composers in society to express their desire for social change. “Strange fruit” by Lewis Allen and “took the children away” by Archie Roach are haunting lyrics protesting against the area of racism. Both poets have been influenced by either personal events or events occurring in society. Both Allen and Roach effectively use strong poetic techniques and pursue subject matter to the audience through racism to create a desire for social change in the society. “Strange fruit” was written in the mid-1930s about 60 years ago. Lewis Allen whom is a Jewish American communist had seen a photo in the paper of two young boys that had been beaten and hung. This horrific picture encouraged Allen to take action and write this lyric protesting about the lynching that had occurred in Americas South. Allen saw that the lynching of African Americans was generational. He protested against racism to create a desire in society for social change. The powerful techniques shown through the lyric “strange fruits” are extended metaphor and physical imagery. Extended metaphor is shown throughout the whole lyric as it is continuous which makes it more powerful. This helps the reader relate to the horrific situation and understand how Allen is feeling about the lynching. The physical imagery that is portrayed in the lyric is “the bulging eyes and twisted mouth”. This shows the haunting image of a person being hung and draws the responders attention to the strong confronting words used to describe the dead ”black bodies”. The lyric is extremely confronting and distressing which is deliberately shocking to the audience in attempt to create a desire for social change. “Took the children away” was written in 1990 by an indigenous Australian Archie Roach. He had a very difficult life by having a disturbed background and childhood. He was sadly removed from his family at a very young age which was known as “the...
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