Amiri Baraka Poems

Amiri Baraka was an American poet, fiction writer, and music critic. Throughout his career, he published several books of poetry and taught at universities around the United States. He is best known for his 2008 Tales of the Out and the Gone. 

Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note

by Amiri Baraka

‘Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note’ (1961) is the titular poem of Amiri Baraka’s first collection of poems. This piece introduces a depressed narrator engrossed with the thoughts of dying.

This is one of Baraka's best-known poems. It's quite short and relatively easy to read, meaning that its powerful images are capable of reaching a wide audience. The poet may not be as well-known as some of their contemporaries, but this poem proves that the poet's work is certainly worth reading.

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...

Explore more poems from Amiri Baraka

History as Process

by Amiri Baraka

‘History as Process’ is one of the celebratory poems of Black History Month. It evaluates the history of the African-Americans and how it is important for the poet, Amiri Baraka.

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