Rita Dove's Poem

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In Amiri Baraka’s “In Memory of Radio”, and Rita Dove’s “Roast Possum”, the idea of good vs evil is explored in the memories of bygone eras. The two poems revolve around recollections of past cultures. Baraka’s is mostly about different radio programs and people of the time while Dove’s is more of a folksy recounting of catching possums and talented horses. Like most memories, these poems exude nostalgia, whether it be the narrator in Baraka’s poem or Thomas in Dove’s. Unsurprisingly they both seem to be fond at times, and rather negative during others. In a way, good and evil seem to be fighting for control over the memories. In dove’s poem, a rather racist few lines say, “He could have gone on to tell them / that the Werner admitted Negro…show more content…
The time the narrator remembers in his poem is one where radio was a large part of life. Radio consisted of many programs that he enjoyed immensely. The best examples of these are the Red Lantern, and Let’s pretend. The two programs were adventurous, story telling series’. They brought people a lot of joy, and were cultural staples of the time. The narrator clearly enjoyed them and states he still does. WCBS and Kate Smith were also listened to by most. The poem examines also Lamont Cranston, a radio host known for The Shadow. The Shadow was a man who could become invisible and spy on men. The poem eventually says of him, “What was it he used to say (after the transformation when he was safe / & invisible & the unbelievers couldn't throw stones?) ‘Heh, heh, heh. / Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows (lines 22-24)’” Because of this, the narrator believes The Shadow to have been a divine character. He could observe men invisibly, a job previously thought to be only for god. This made The Shadow a force of good during the time period. Although the narrator reveals that only himself and Jack Kerouac, another famous beat writer, ever thought about him in such a way. The poem seems to take pride in the fact that the narrator experienced his bygone era in a different way than most. This in fact ties into the evil of the
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