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Preface to a 20 Volume Suicide Note (Block 34)
Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note
Lately, I've become accustomed to the way
The ground opens up and envelopes me
Each time I go out to walk the dog.
Or the broad edged silly music the wind
Makes when I run for a bus...
Things have come to that.
And now, each night I count the stars.
And each night I get the same number.
And when they will not come to be counted,
I count the holes they leave.
Nobody sings anymore.
And then last night I tiptoed up
To my daughter's room and heard her
Talking to someone, and when I opened
The door, there was no one there...
Only she on her knees, peeking into
Her own clasped hands
Analysis of Poem
Rhyme Scheme: none
Stanzas: 7 stanzas (5,1,4,1,5,1)
Punctuation: Uses the “…”
Author is an African American
Written during the 1960’s when prejudice towards blacks was prevalent in
Repetition: “And now…”
“ And when…”
“ The ground envelopes me”
“ Broad edged silly music”
“ Clasped hands”
Personification: “The ground envelopes me”
“ Broad edged silly music the wind makes…”
: African Americans are frustrated because they are being oppressed by whites.
Amiri Baraka was born on October 7, 1934. Preface to a Twenty-Volume Suicide Note was published in 1961, and it was his first volume of poetry. He was the founder of Totem Press, as well as the Black Arts Repertory Theatre/School. Baraka has also written many off-Broadway plays and has taught at colleges such as San Francisco State University, Yale University, and George Washington University. He has been a professor of Africana Studies at the State University of New York at Stony Brook since 1985.
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