Jimmy Santiago Baca

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Jimmy Santiago Baca is an award-winning American poet and writer of Chicano descent. While serving a five-year sentence in a maximum security prison, he learned to read and began to turn his life around, eventually emerging as a prolific artist of the spoken and written word. He is a winner of the prestigious International Award for his memoir, “A Place to Stand,” the story of which is now also a documentary by the same title. Source

I Am Offering This Poem

I am offering this poem to you,

since I have nothing else to give.

Keep it like a warm coat

when winter comes to cover you,

or like a pair of thick socks

the cold cannot bite through,

 

                      I love you,

 

I have nothing else to give you,

so it is a pot full of yellow corn

to warm your belly in winter,

it is a scarf for your head, to wear

over your hair, to tie up around your face,

 

                      I love you,

 

Keep it, treasure this as you would

if you were lost, needing direction,

in the wilderness life becomes when mature;

and in the corner of your drawer,

tucked away like a cabin or hogan

in dense trees, come knocking,

and I will answer, give you directions,

and let you warm yourself by this fire,

rest by this fire, and make you feel safe

 

                      I love you,

 

It’s all I have to give,

and all anyone needs to live,

and to go on living inside,

when the world outside

no longer cares if you live or die;

remember,

 

                      I love you.

Published:

1990

Length:

Regular

Literary Movements:

Contemporary

Anthology Years:

2022

Themes:

Ars Poetica

Love & Relationships

Literary Devices:

Asyndeton

the absence of a conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so…) between phrases and within a sentence

End Rhyme

when a poem has lines ending with words that sound the same

Imperative

an instruction or a command

Metaphor

a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic

Repetition

a recurrence of the same word or phrase two or more times

Simile

a comparison between two unlike things using the words “like” or “as”

Slant Rhyme

A rhyme where the words have similar sounds in their stressed syllables.