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Blue Front

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2006

    The fifth volume of poetry by author Martha Collins

    The fifth volume of poetry by author Martha Collins, Blue Front: A Poem relays the horror that Collins' father witnessed as a five-year-old boy, while selling fruit in front of the Blue Front Restaurant of Cairo, Illinois in 1909. Along with an estimated 10,000 spectators, Collins' father saw the vicious lynching of a black man, and afterward, a white man, both of whom were abandoned to the frenzied violence of the participants. The free-verse poetry narrative varies its rhythm, style, and meter from page to page, and explores human hate, mob mentality, culpability, and what it means to be white in a nation with a racist history. Once picked up, Blue Front cannot be put down. He wanted to know / everyone in the end / he was a kind // man did errands / for old people younger / than he helped kids // with school met people / in stores on the street / please may I help // And the last day / he said You know / this world could be // a better place just / promise me that you / will help he waited // he made change may / I help you please / make change

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