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Santiago Baca Essay

1826 words - 8 pages

Name: Angel H. Morales Lopez.
Date: May, 06, 2008.
Type of essay: Research Paper.
Class: English 102

Jimmy Santiago Baca

I am writing about Jimmy Santiago Baca because after reading some of his poetic writing I admire him a lot and I consider that his writing is very realistic. He uses his writing to criticize society’s discrimination towards the Hispanic race in a very raw way. Another reason why I chose Santiago Baca is because he writes about things in a language that I can understand and isn’t complicated. Besides the way that I can understand his writing, I also liked his poetry because I relate to him in different ways. The first way I relate to him is because he ...view middle of the document...

: Timberline, 1986).
• “Martín and Meditations on the South Valley" (New York: New Directions, 1987).
• “Black Mesa Poems” (New York: New Directions, 1989).

To begin I consider that “Martin and Meditations on the South Valley” was one of the best works he has done, I read it and it is incredible, he wrote “Martin and Meditations on the South Valley” in such way that it can also be viewed as a self-sustaining work framed by two events drawn from Baca's life: the destruction by fire of the family home and the raising of a second house. The first reason I liked it is because he uses a very raw and realistic language to describe how things where, therefore it enrolls the readers’ imagination and it makes it think on how it could have been. Also, I like these poems because Baca paints with sharp and lucid details the ancianos (old folks), midwives, field hands, construction workers, low riders, cholos (barrio men), longtime residents, village fools, and community activists.

While doing my research I found a poem that brought my attention, “As Life Was Five”, this one talks about how he felt when his grandfather was discriminated against because he did not speak English language, he remembers that his grandfather used to tell him all the time: “Portate bien”, on this poem Baca states the way he felt with this phrase which was always told by his grandfather by saying:

… and I obey in my integrity, my kindness, my courage,
as I am born again in the suffering of my people,
in our freedom, our beauty, our dual-faced,
dual-cultured, two-songed soul
and two-hearted
ancient culture,
me porto bien, Grandpa,
your memory
leafing my heart
like sweetly fragrant sage (Baca).

I relate to this since I believe that that is the way we feel about our race. Sometimes, we or someone else is discriminated against, and it shouldn’t be that way. At work we sometimes do not even see it, but, mostly it always happens.

The third poem that I read talks about racism, how people treat their same race the worst, and the way we sometimes discriminate our own blood. But he avoids generalization, it makes an emphasis on how race has a lot to do with our preference, and how we sometimes compete or help succeed our own. “There Are Black” is a poem that caught my attention since the first paragraph where Baca wrote:

… there are black guards slamming cell gates on black men,
And brown guards saying hello to brown men with numbers on their backs,
And white guards laughing with white cons,
And red guards, few, say nothing to red inmates as they walk by the chow and cells (672).

With this brief quotation we assume that the writer is someone who has been convicted, and in fact that happened. The author of “There Are Black” as I mentioned before has had a tough life. Born in New Mexico of...

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