Sometimes The Bad is Really The Good Do readers believe that any one person can turn their life into something beautiful, even when all they have seen in their life is ugly? Based on this non-fiction poem the narrator finally realized his life wasn’t as bad as it could be. In Baca’s “Cloudy day,” readers find a speaker very attuned to the outer world while being incarcerated. Born in New Mexico of Indio-Mexican descent, Jimmy Santiago Baca was raised first by his grandmother and later sent to an orphanage. A runaway at age 13, it was after Baca was sentenced to five years in a maximum security prison that he began to turn his life around: Jimmy learned to read and write and unearthed a voracious passion for poetry.
During a fateful
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The third stanza of this poem makes the reader really start to look at the metaphors Baca used in the poem. The narrator says this in the third stanza, “I could see the main tower from where I sat, and the wind in my face gave me the feeling I could grasp the tower like a cornstalk, and snap it from its roots of rock. The wind plays it like a flute, this hollow shoot of rock. The brim girded with barbwire with a guard sitting there also, listening to the sounds as clouds cover the sun.” This seems to have a feeling like it is at this point in time during Baca’s imprisonment he was starting to wonder more and more what freedom would be like again. Like maybe Baca was daydreaming about how he would escape the prison walls when he says, “gave me the feeling I could grasp the tower like a cornstalk, and snap it from its roots of rock.”
Baca had a way of bringing the reader into this poem, and to really try and have the “you” picture what he was experiencing. Baca says, “I thought of the day I was coming to prison, in the back seat of a police car, hands and ankles chained, the policeman pointed, “See that big water tank? The big silver one out there, sticking up? That’s the prison.” Knowing that the speaker still remembers things that a policeman said the day he was incarcerated would make the reader think that this day was unlike any other, or that maybe the speaker thought about this day often. Did Baca repeat this day over and over in his head?