From the first it had been like a Ballad. It had the beat inevitable. It had the blood. A wildness cut up, and tied in little bunches, Like the four-line stanzas of the ballads she had never quite understood—the ballads they had set her to, in school.
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From the first it had been like a Ballad. It had the beat inevitable. It had the blood. A wildness cut up, and tied in little bunches, Like the four-line stanzas of the ballads she had never quite understood--the ballads they had set her to, in school.
Herself: the milk-white maid, the "maid mild" Of the ballad. Pursued By the Dark Villain. Rescued by the Fine Prince. The Happiness-Ever-After. It was good to be a "maid mild. Her bacon burned. She Hastened to hide it in the step-on can, and Drew more strips from the meat case. The eggs and sour-milk biscuits Did well. She set out a jar Of her new quince preserve. But there was something about the matter of the Dark Villain. He should have been older, perhaps. The hacking down of a villain was more fun to think about When his menace possessed undisputed breath, undisputed height, And best of all, when history was cluttered With the bones of many eaten knights and princesses.
The fun was disturbed, then all but nullified When the Dark Villain was a blackish child Of Fourteen, with eyes still too young to be dirty, And a mouth too young to have lost every reminder Of its infant softness. That boy must have been surprised! For These were grown-ups. Grown-ups were supposed to be wise. And the Fine Prince--and that other--so tall, so broad, so Grown! Perhaps the boy had never guessed That the trouble with grown-ups was that under the magnificent shell of adulthood, just under, Waited the baby full of tantrums.
It occurred to her that there may have been something Ridiculous to the picture of the Fine Prince Rushing rich with the breadth and height and Mature solidness whose lack, in the Dark Villain, was impressing her, Confronting her more and more as this first day after the trial And acquittal wore on rushing With his heavy companion to hack down unhorsed That little foe.
So much had happened, she could not remember now what that foe had done Against her, or if anything had been done. The breaks were everywhere. That she could think Of no thread capable of the necessary Sew-work. She made the babies sit in their places at the table.
Then, before calling HIM, she hurried To the mirror with her comb and lipstick. It was necessary To be more beautiful than ever.
The beautiful wife. For sometimes she fancied he looked at her as though Measuring her. As if he considered, Had she been worth it? Had she been worth the blood, the cramped cries, the little stirring bravado, The gradual dulling of those Negro eyes, The sudden, overwhelming little-boyness in that barn? Whatever she might feel or half-feel, the lipstick necessity was something apart.
HE must never conclude That she had not been worth it. HE sat down, the Fine Prince, and Began buttering a biscuit. HE looked at HIS hands. More papers were in from the North, HE mumbled. More maddening headlines. With their pepper-words, "bestiality," and "barbarism," and "Shocking. The time lost. The unwanted fame.
Still, it had been fun to show those intruders A thing or two. To show that snappy-eyed mother, That sassy, Northern, brown-black-- HE knew that. Big fella Knew that. And, what was so good, Mississippi knew that. They could send in their petitions, and scar Their newspapers with bleeding headlines.
Their governors Could appeal to Washington. Instantly The Fine Prince leaned across the table and slapped The small and smiling criminal. She did not speak. She shook her had. It was not true, of course. It was not true at all.
She Looked out of a window. She said not a word. That Was one of the new Somethings-- The fear, Tying her as with iron. Suddenly she felt his hands upon her. He had followed her To the window. The children were whimpering now. Such bits of tots. And she, their mother, Could not protect them. She looked at her shoulders, still Gripped in the claim of his hands. She tried, but could not resist the idea That a red ooze was seeping, spreading darkly, thickly, slowly, Over her white shoulders, her own shoulders, And over all of Earth and Mars.
He whispered something to her, did the Fine Prince, something about love and night and intention. She heard no hoof-beat of the horse and saw no flash of the shining steel. He pulled her face around to meet His, and there it was, close close, For the first time in all the days and nights. His mouth, wet and red, So very, very, very red, Closed over hers. Then a sickness heaved within her.
The courtroom Coca-Cola, The courtroom beer and hate and sweat and drone, Pushed like a wall against her. She wanted to bear it. She did not scream. But a hatred for him burst into glorious flower, And its perfume enclasped them--big, Bigger than all magnolias. The last bleak news of the ballad. The rest of the rugged music. The last quatrain.
Analysis Of The Poem ' A Bronzeville Mother Loiters ' Essay
It had the beat inevitable. It had the blood. A wildness cut up, and tied in little bunches, Like the four-line stanzas of the ballads she had never quite understood--the ballads they had set her to, in school. Herself: the milk-white maid, the "maid mild" Of the ballad.
A Bronzeville Mother Loiters in Mississippi. Meanwhile, a Mississippi Mother Burns Bacon. A very long title for a very controversial poem about the tragic death of Emmett Till. Gwendolyn Brooks tackles the Emmett Till case in a way that has never been done before. She also challenges the reader to adopt a whole new perspective when it comes to Carolyn Bryant, the woman partly responsible for the death of Till.