A Discussion of Two Poems by Jimmy Santiago Baca Jimmy Santiago Baca is known for his gritty writing that gives deep acknowledgement and respect to common people, usually from rural places, with an emphasis on those with impoverished or troubled backgrounds and people who have spent time in prisons or juvenile detention centers. His work is a testament to his own experience, and one wonders how much of it is autobiographical and how much is based on people he has met in his life. This paper will discuss the similarities and differences between two poems by Jimmy Santiago Baca, “Oppression” and “Like an Animal,” both from his book, Immigrants in Our Own Land and Selected Early Poems (1990). It will also analyze the characters and events in...The end:
.....es his own oppressed life in these poems that echo his personal stories of “losing [his] soul” (130) in prison. “Forget freedom,” (131) Baca says, describing the battle between the mind and the heart when you are in a state of incarceration; the heart must ultimately accept the situation. These poems reflect that aching battle between fighting for your life and accepting the inevitability of what is. It seems Baca understands that it is a very lonely place. Works Cited Santiago Baca, Jimmy. Immigrants in Our Own Land and Selected Early Poems. New York: New Directions Books, 1990. ---. A Place To Stand. New York: Grove Press, 2001. Evans, Jeff. Undoing Time: American Prisoners in Their Own Words. Ed. C.W Haney. Holliston: Northeastern, 2000.