In Memory of Radio Criticism

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Critics have praised Baraka's first volume of poetry, Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note, in which "In Memory of Radio" appeared, many claiming that it contains some of his very best poetry. M. L. Rosenthal says that the collection shows that Baraka "has a natural gift for quick, vivid imagery and spontaneous humor, and his poems are filled with sardonic or sensuous or slangily knowledgeable passages." Theodore Hudson similarly applauds the volume, writing "All things considered 'Preface' was an auspicious beginning for LeRoi Jones the poet." "In Memory of Radio" can be read as a critique of the ways that American society unquestioningly believes what they hear on radio and see on television. However it can, and has, also been read as an endorsement of the fantasy life. Calling the piece "a typical beat Poem," critic William J. Harris writes that Baraka "not only valorizes 'pretending,'...

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This section contains 244 words
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In Memory of Radio from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.