Strange Fruit

Strange Fruit by Abel Meeropol (1937)

Southern trees bear a strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black body 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 magnolia 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.

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One thought on “Strange Fruit”

  1. Ahhh! A poem about racism and violence against blacks. The fruit metaphor is kind of distracting though but the the verbal cues still point in the right direction. The length is short enough for it to be memorized or perhaps sung, giving it that short story like feel. The rhyme scheme is metric and regular-a very lovely attribute for traditionlists like myself.
    All in all, a great poem but very dark. The subject matter being one which at the time it was written would have raised many an eyebrow. The poet must have wanted to publicize the atrocity commited in the name of superiority and give a graphic accout of even how the elements-Rain and Sun would join in.
    Very moving and the length adds to the poignancy.

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