Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Wreath for Emmett Till

Author: Marilyn Nelson

First line: Rosemary for remembrance, Shakespear wrote:/a speech for poor Ophelia, who went mad/when her love killed her father.

Why you should read this book: The author, like many of her generation, found the story of Emmett Till, a black teenager brutally lynched in 1955, following her through life until she let it catch up and take root in the present. In a heroic crown of sonnets, she offers up remembrance for a life unlived, expresses the wish for a less tragic series of events, and uses the language of flowers to honor Till's memory. From pain and terror, she creates sparks of hope in the darkness.

Why you shouldn't read this book: Terrible, naked pain; descriptions of the worst that humanity has to offer; real life monsters and waking nightmares.

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