About Nooses 23 October 2007Posted by mecca in Poetry, Politics, Sociology.
Here below is a reminder of the culture and history of nooses in America — twisted rope as the symbol of “strange” mendacity now coming into vogue . . . as what? A wordless racial slur? Proof that the clean up of the past was not so thorough? I came across this chilling song performed most notably by the late Billie Holiday (and penned by Lewis Allan). It reminded me of a time that only “appears” distant. Human blight cannot be framed as an “historical” moment. It evokes a struggle against a potential that disrespects time and context.
Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.
Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.
Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.