In Memory of Radio Essay

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Chris Semansky's poetry, essays, and stories appear regularly in literary magazines and journals. In the following essay, Semansky examines the idea of loss in Amiri Baraka's poem, "In Memory of Radio."

Traditionally, elegies have addressed the idea of loss. Sometimes that loss is physical, as in the death of a loved one, and sometimes the loss is emotional, as in the loss of love, or metaphysical, as when the poet meditates on human mortality itself. Amiri Baraka's poem, "In Memory of Radio," adds another subject: the loss of serf. His poem signals not the loss of a particular time when radio shows had emotional clout or entertainment value but the loss of a part of the speaker who has moved from innocence to a kind of experience which implicitly undermines his previous response to radio.

Baraka opens the poem by using a convention which often appears in pastoral...

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This section contains 1,345 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
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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.