She deals openly with disillusionment and rejection of the white society, pride of the blacks and appreciation for the poor of the ghetto”. A Song in the Front Yard is about a girl who wants to do things she wants to do and not follow rules laid down by society. She wants to be adventurous and experience a different kind of life. It is also about the same girl remembering after she becomes a woman, how her mother had kept her away from the back yard. Now after growing up she wants to “peek” into the life in the back yard. Here the poet wants us to know that a time always comes when we want to know what we have missed in life. This poem was one of Brooks’ early poems, yet her African heritage and her identity with it comes through. The lines such as “I’ve stayed in the front yard all my life” … “I want to go in the back yard now / And maybe down the alley" (Brooks, 1963), in the poem symbolically, represent what the poet wants to convey. The "front yard” here represents the pretense of imitating other culture while the "back yard" is an indication of a return to one’s own heritage.
From the poem it is clear that living in the "front yard" is synonymous with living a good life and that "back yard" is synonymous to living a bad life. The girl in the poem thinks living a "bad" life is more fun, in spite of what other people’s, especially her mother’ views on this. Here she says: “My mother sneers, but I say its fine ………/
My mother, she tells me that Johnnie Mae/Will grow up to be a bad woman/But I say its fine./ Honest I do./And Id like to be a bad woman too” (Brooks).These lines demonstrate that the girl is ready to accept the consequences of being a bad woman.
In the poem, the young girl feels trapped as her mother tries to shield her from what is there in the "back yard". The poem concluding lines “...brave stockings of night-black lace..." and "...paint on ...
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