Interrogating Amiri Baraka's Poem "Something in the Way of Things (In Town)

Amiri Baraka's poem "Something in the way of Things (In Town)" clearly shows Baraka quest for social justice to explore interrelated issues of race, national oppression, self-determination and national liberation of the people he has long been addressing creatively and critically as In his first collection of essays in book form, The Essence of Reparations. The poem itself is in fact Baraka own lyrics in a rap song with the same title by the hip-hop groupRoots from their album entitled "Phrenology." But what I heard was the poem by Baraka, to the accompaniment of Stomp-like Hip-Hoppy beat from the group read. The Roots shares with a lot of Baraka's work, because it was a response to the subjugation and oppression of blacks in America. Therefore, looking to draw attention to creating the inequities of the system and thus the awareness of blacks and American society in general.

The poem is complicated, but characterizedcaptivating verse with scorn and extends biting satire on the course of events in the city. In the opinion of one of my students in practical criticism, it also suggests the vulnerability of people, a force beyond human control, but the remote is specific controller himself and his own destiny. First, the poem sounds like a dramatic monologue with the person, the only voice in the whole area very passionately as if he directly to us. But then you get the proposalthat he speak with someone directly involved in the situation of the poem. Through his use of the language of the person to the presence of this passive audience, he frequently and repeatedly requests to do things, to comply, he seems the most time.

Open your mouth, how you gon 'Say Somethin

Close your eyes and remember what you saw and what they made you feel like

Now you see nothing else

Something cold and ugly

But then it does not seem to likedramatic monologue in the form of Tennyson's "Ullysses" or Browning's 'My Last Duchess' as other essential features of the dramatic monologue as an opportunity not made clear. In addition, lack of any other features such as undercut known, the person makes his mistakes unknowingly, as he speaks.

The title of the poem itself suggests obstacles stand in our daily lives. A reader saw it as beyond the boundaries and obstacles stand between man and his goals. TheTitle could also mean that something stand in the way of things in the city in a way that one can not see these things clearly enough or even that these things are so simple obstacle preventing motion.

A note of desperation and frustration marks the tone of the person as he speaks prophetically to us, his audience, which seem what might have happened, or they are just complacent, or simply not to speak of what lost their lives. The persona,but passionately presenting his prophecy does not clearly state his vision. He instead, presents several situations that at first appear, since they are not independent, as the sequential ourselves the task to assemble them.

The sense of urgency and the ominous signals of impending doom are evident in the first lines

In the city

Something in the way of things

Something quit that and will not be started

Something you know but can not bear it

Can not knowwith

As death

Riding on the car looking through the windshield for his cue

Something entirely fictitious and true

It crawls across the path hallowing your evil ways

How do they themselves not by a smile

This sense of urgency and imminent danger is represented by the repetition of "something" and the paradoxical features of each row shows a thing that is slow, unpredictable and unreliable for even greaterwhen you say, you know you can not possibly put up, you can either with him or her, because suddenly it seems more like someone as one thing. It will also end a mystery, but it would not start, and although fictional, it is all at the same time true.

His character is most identifiable and slippery to be if not dangerous and life threatening. His death in a mysterious manner, "Riding on the car" and compared as if that's not scary enough"Looking through the windshield for his cue. These lines are invested with so much drama, suspense and mystery, that it inevitably arouses curiosity, if not fear of the reader, therefore, forced to read to unravel the mystery and puzzles to .

Represent the rest of the lines in the first verse of the person trying desperately to create awareness in Something his audience "to be entirely fictitious and true / It crawls across the path hallowing your evil ways .. 'suggests sychophancycould only be a holy and worship alien evil ways, through ignorance or flattery, or perhaps as an extreme case of compelled to praise what unpraiseworthy from being terrorized into it.

A difficult and confusing part of the poem, these two lines:

The dead guy you saw me speak to your boss

I have tried to put a spell on him, but his spirit is illiterate

If the guy is dead, one wonders how could he be talking about? If he is a literary man or a deadfiguratively dead? But then, if his spirit is said to be illiterate, they suggested that his spirit is dead's. But then one could survive in our collective traditional knowledge that the dead, because their minds. But if these people should be dead "spirit that survive it is to be doubled, then suffering associated with illiteracy to a death like mine. Therefore, the person's efforts is a spell cast on him to be useless, because he does not respond . One also wonders whether he was awareParticipate in the conversation. But then these dead men were made, the heavy task of leading an organization. How well he does it could be imagined.

The "something" Baraka says that much seems omnipresent, omni-powerful, all concerns and also greetings to all, like the good humor man, whose good humor seems forced and suspect.

The second stanza exudes genuine steam with the speaker talking about people, he talks about their heads in their houses, whileby the people he gathered around him with ice picks unaware that seems like a further signal of danger. For, while people over and over their heads, he speaks with others in their homes to the masses of ice are known to-pick-wielding men closing in menacingly at him, he is completely blind to their presence. But the person going to paint a picture of how they look, maybe in the eyes of the audience, then tighten the ominous signal of pessimism and despair.

ButShe saw the importance of Negroes on the way to the funeral

Looked like important jiggaboos on the way to your auction

And they shall sing the number and use an ivory pointer to count on the teeth

These lines continue on the idea of a burial place man, who spoke as if he wanted to build remains unresponsive. This also underlines that the dead man as his funeral to be postponed. You are in a sense, dehumanized, and the sense of refusingalive.

The third stanza of the poem brings an intensity clearly marked by the repetition of the same line at the beginning of the stanza.

I can see something in the way of our selves

I can see something in the way of our selves

This repetition can I find more significant in its emphasis on the ominous nature of what the person knows, has as in the repeated lines he shows gave him great understanding of people and things revealed, which allows him to say with much insightand wisdom "of what I do, that the audience knows, but completely ignored or underestimated. The personality seems so desperate to raise awareness in an audience to what is happening around them and lower case seems to create.

The concept of life-denial is also referring to "reinforced that niggga" that the machines are in the factory are sadistic desire "and to give up his life / Standin 'there bein' dissed and broke and troubled." The last three verbs "dissed""broke" and "disturbed" In summary, the nigga's lostness, a vessel for the rejection, disrespect, insults, humiliation and disorientation. In fact, his life no longer belongs to him that if he manages to survive certain death on the chances of it seems very much against him is the voracious Machine longing so much for his life when he seems eager to retain. The machine, which seems more alive than he, people who deliberately rejected the lower and position of the black man in societylongingly waiting to absorb his powers when his life was not in their system. African-Americans are therefore as an eternal victim of a harsh and exploitative capitalist system which values them only for the labor and energy they spend in the factories, which are presented as a virtual death traps to see. Another student described her as hopelessly manipulated and rejected. As such, he continues, the poet could visualize something or even better is the irresistible rise of the visioningBlacks. Because if pushed too far against the wall, there are certainly would a backlash.of unforeseen consequences.

In the fourth stanza, the person is that the above is proof that God did not exist. But then his interlocutor is quick to emphasize that it is rather an acknowledgment that the devil who rules. This explains the prevalence of evil. Prejudice, an evil in itself, is given notice in the fourth to last line, where the white boy takes more provocativea T-shirt celebrating his poverty and frustration, which in reality is the black identity, for only if you were in the skull is thick enough, you like to fall for these lies and it is derided as your soul mate. But his illness is different from the blacks, since it is not marked by racism. The RAG is to know what the boy with inscriptions show that he will die bears could the poor and frustrated, and that "crossing those dreams you walk the city couldgive blacks false hopes that their shared suffering and identified with another race and therefore could be solved without its pro-active measures. That which Baraka has a "garbage" you can not tell you shit that you could accept, as is the case in spite of your suffering with eternal pain.

These are just some of the feelings that they as black people swallow that makes them complacent about their situation. The Negro is thus synonymous with poverty andFrustration, because one is white-dominated racist society and denied him his rights as a human being. He must, therefore, the bitter realization that his dreams can never be realized, because he is only likely to be revised, even the garbage on the street come to seem to have more meaning.

Stop in verse five, rather than stalking the Blackman in order to show his progress. "What an ugly thing floating in the back calling us names. Thus, a constant annoyance, and humbug and trailingRidicule this book. These people could see and hear. But then the irony is that although it makes him such a threat exists, he justifies it as a right, because "God is' he is thereby contributing to his disparagement. What does he or results in its classification as false.

Broke and mistaken all the time

You know, some of the words, but it is not the correct

The nigga is thus in the words of the persona's: "the sadness" addicted The persona is characterizedas exceptional, since he is the only brave and honest enough to give voice to the things that threaten their existence. The nigga's landlocked position is depicted as a bird trapped in a cage. He is therefore free to oppose the evils of his society.

Remember the Negro squinting us through the cage

You saw what I see?

The smile that is not a smile but teeth flying against the neck

You see something, but can not give his name

The last twoLines get proposals from betrayal and hypocrisy of the two races. The injustices suffered by black youths is then fetched. They are seen as suffering for the crimes for which they are innocent, but they have to be answered and suffering, for being black. But then again, the inability to raise a voice about such abuses, is once again in the refrain "You see something, but does not complain tell his name.

The sixth stanza brings us the fate of a nice boy, always too goodhis mother and was always greeting people on their way to work, but it's joyful and pleasant mood suddenly changed, perhaps in expectation of his confrontation with the harsh and cruel judicial system.

But the last time before he locked up and hurt real bad

I have it Walkin 'to his house and he was not smiling

And he did not even say hello

This shows only revoke the power consumed injustice to humanity. A humane person is suddenly sullen andbitterly against his true nature. Unfortunately, his kindness and courtesy is not allowing it to escape the cruelties and injustices of this heartless world. And the person comes with his world-wise explanation as to what brought the change in the disposition of the boy.

But I knew he saw something

Something in the way of things that they worked on him like it to do,

Baraka now comes with the strongest moment in the poem with the coalescencethe images of the various victims with a plea for us to take a closer look at ourselves to see what we see in these objects of oppression and how these images could then be seen on our own.

And he

marching faster and faster kept away from us

And not even muttered a word

Then the next day he was gone

They want to know what

You want to know what I'm Talkin 'I am happy about

Sayin ' "I've seen something in the way of things"

And as the boys saw the face, the tagjust before they took him away

The is? in that face and remember now, remember all them other faces

And all the many places you’ve seen him or the sister with his child

Wandering up the street

Remember what you seen in your own mirror and didn’t for a second recognize

The face, your own face

Straining to get out from behind the glass

Open your mouth like you was gon’ say somethin’

Close your eyes and remember what you saw and what it made you feel as

Now you do not see anything

Something cold and ugly

Not invisible but blended with the shadow criss-crossing the old man

Squatting by the pharmacy on the corner

With the head resting uneasily on his

folded arms

And the boy that the girl went and he smiled with

And in my eyes

A waving craziness splitting them into the jet stream from a black bird

Wit his ass on fire

Or the solomNOTness, where we know we go all overbe happy

I saw something

I saw something

And you see it

See also

You can not just call them the name

Note: This is the first of a series of articles to highlight different aspects of the content and the skill of Baraka in his most recent poems. I am indebted to Rudolph Ludwig von CHICKEN BONES, initially for mailing me the poem and the link to the website for Baraka and his later pieces reflective of the general meaning of the poem and our firstInability to respond. That makes me think of jerk. I tossed the poem for the discussion in my practical criticism and American literature classes and suggested that much of my thoughts about the poem.

See the full poem below: / somethinginthewayofthingsbaraka.htm


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