The poems Strange fruit written by Abel Meeropol (Lewis Allen) 1937 and Still I rise written by Maya Angelou both convey the racism which fell upon the lives of many black individuals.

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Stephen Olasupo

Explore how the poems ‘still I rise ’ and ‘strange fruit’ represent the experiences of the black woman/man

The poems ‘strange fruit’ written by Abel Meeropol (Lewis Allen) 1937 and “still I rise’ written by Maya Angelou both convey the racism which fell upon the lives of many black individuals. Abel Meeropol although was not of black heritage was provoked to the hatred of the unjust crimes situated amongst the black race, he also emphasises his hatred for the people who perpetuate the circumstances that they were put under. Maya Angelou on the other hand was from a black heritage, and having been apart of the black race, gave her writing which explored the inequalities of the black female and the black man, a more defiant feel, whereas Abel’s outsiders perspective of the black man/woman is not as harsh.

The way each poem has been structured was specific to the manner in which both Abel Meeropol and Maya Angelou wanted it was presented to the reader. ‘Strange fruit’ was written in 3rd person which gave the piece and outsiders perspective, whereas ‘still I rise’ was written in 1st person this gave the poem a first hand perspective of the piece. ‘Still I rise’ also uses a 2nd person pronoun, which gives the piece a direct appeal to the reader, creating assumptions that the white man is reading it. This grabs the reader and plays with the reader’s guilt.

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The use of metaphors and similes in each poem helps the reader engage their mind to imagine the scene of the poems. In the opening lines of ‘strange fruit’ there is use of metaphors, for example ‘southern trees bear a strange fruit’ strange is the first line of this poem. The word strange is the first word that hits you. It implies that what is going on is something not normal or something that just doesn’t happen in the civilized world. The south had a culture that was not like anywhere else in America at the time. Abel wanted ...

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This is a good attempt at analysing two poems and tackling a very broad subject. Some very good and perceptive analysis of the language both poets use to convey their messages via the poems. Some clunky expression. Appropriate use of poetic terminology when discussing poems and shows understanding. More detailed contextual detail would have been useful - the writer assumes knowledge. Remains focused on the question throughout