Discuss the significance of the third stanza of the poem "Strange Fruit."
Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for a tree to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.
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The last stanza brings out the very essence of "strange fruit" symbolism. The convergence of both crops in the South and lynchings in the region ends up being completed in this final stanza. The "fruit" that the crows feast upon can be seen as both the literal fruit that grows from the trees as well as the lynched bodies that hang from the very same trees. The image of a crow being able to choose to "pluck" fruit crops from trees and human remains that hang from them is startling. This image is continued in the final three lines, in terms of bringing out how harsh, natural conditions impact the crops that grow and the bodies that hang from them in a society that permits lynchings to occur. This becomes the ending line of the "strange and bitter crop." It is this ending that brings the poem to a close and reflects how there is a fundamental challenge in a society that professes freedom for all and yet is tolerant or fails to do anything about lynchings in that very same society. It is this reality that forms "a strange and bitter crop."
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