Study Guide

Blessing the Boats - From New Poems (2000), "Alabama 9/15/63" Summary & Analysis

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From New Poems (2000), "Alabama 9/15/63" Summary

This poem starts out like a joke: "have you heard the one about...." But it is no joke. This is a poem about the four girls who were blown up in the church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963. A racist placed a dynamite bomb in the basement of a church, and the four girls lost their lives.

This poem speaks of the girls are birds who "shattered into skylarks" in the explosion. The second stanza names their names, "four little birds." The third stanza equates the bright blast of the bomb to the explosion of the girls' souls into heaven, that the sound blew their souls as well as the music of the piano into heaven in a blast so brilliant that is impossible to hear or experience.

From New Poems (2000), "Alabama 9/15/63" Analysis

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This section contains 305 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Blessing the Boats Study Guide
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