Title: A Wreath for Emmett Till
Author: Marilyn Nelson
Illustrator: Philippe Lardy
Publisher: Hougton Mifflin
Published Date: 2005
Emmett Till was only 14 when he was brutally hung and killed. Left in a river to bloat and fester. All because he supposedly whistled at a white man’s wife. Till, being black, was victimized during a time in the U.S. that segregation was in full force. His death was one of several that started the Civil Rights movement. Ms. Nelson captures his death and the world at that time and transforms it into a beautiful poem.
This poem is beautiful. It made me angry, sad and hurt that anyone could do this to another human being. It doesn’t matter the color, race, ethnicity, age, gender or sexual preference. For someone to coldly kill another because of hate is despicable. And for the men who killed Emmett to have gotten away with this murder is not only unjust but plain wrong. I don’t even have the words to describe how I feel about this right now. I’m just sad that it happened. For Ms. Nelson to produce so much beauty in such a horrendous act is a blessing and beauty of its own. I’m a poetry lover and never have I had a poem move me as much. I wish I could explain more about the poem, but it’s just one of those things you will have to read on your own to understand. This poem is great. Read it. It might just change you.