April 26, 2007

Amiri Baraka: “Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note”

Posted in Poetry at 8:00 am by The Lizard Queen

I spent some time trying to find a different Baraka poem to post, to try to be different, but my search was in vain. I do so love this poem. Something about that middle stanza… I could analyze the crap out of it and try my best to put my feelings into words, but hey, this is my blog, not an academic paper… 🙂

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

–Amiri Baraka, 1961


1 Comment »

  1. Sera said,

    Yay! Just about my favorite poem ever!

    Psst: Next time you come over, I’ll lend you some of my Baraka books, if you like :).

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