Analysis Of An Agony As Now

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To see through the lens of something else can change one’s perspective drastically. In the poem “An Agony. As Now.”, Amiri Baraka guides the reader through his viewpoint of the world around him while having to see through an obstacle of his own. In doing so, Baraka has trouble finding himself due to the fact that he can’t give the world around him any substance or meaning. In the same sense, Basquiat’s painting, Fallen Angel, perceives this notion of being shielded off. Both the creature drawn in Basquiat’s painting and the speaker in Baraka 's poem (assumedly himself) are experiencing the same feeling of being masked or caged off. The reader may imagine the speaker in “An Agony. As Now.” to closely resemble the creature in Basquiat’s painting. The composition and tension within the creature portrays a trapped feeling that the speaker in the poem is feeling as well. Basquiat and Baraka express the dreadful and maddening feeling of being caught inside yourself while having a voice that can’t be expressed. Baraka’s poem is, indeed, a work of art on its own. With so little description of who’s speaking in the poem, it’s up for interpretation to the reader to imagine what he looks like. We can assume Baraka is speaking about himself. Baraka begins the poem by explaining how he’s trapped withing, and that he is “inside someone / who hates [him]” (1-2). It’s initially made clear that Baraka is in a poor mental state, and this person he is stuck in is someone he doesn’t like.
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