Summary (Identities & Issues in Literature)
I’ve Been a Woman: New and Selected Poems is a compilation of selections from Sonia Sanchez’s major works up to 1978. This collection offers a cross section of the themes that characterize Sonia Sanchez’s poetic vision. Sanchez’s work balances the private and the public. The private, or introspective poems, are intensely personal. The public poems cover a number of concerns. Selections from Homecoming (1969), We a BaddDDD People (1970), Love Poems (1973), A Blues Book for Blue Black Magical Women (1974), and Generations: Selected Poetry 1969-1985 (1986) make up I’ve Been a Woman.
Themes include issues of identity among African Americans. Sanchez’s work is characterized by her ability to offer clear-eyed commentary on African American conditions while offering poetry of destiny and self-determination. For example, one of Sanchez’s ongoing concerns is drug addiction among African Americans. In works such as Wounded in the House of a Friend (1995), she focuses this concern on the devastating effects of addiction to crack cocaine.
This intermingling of themes is found in poems such as “Summary.” This poem represents an example of Sanchez’s technique. She combines personal and public concerns. Within this poem, Sanchez does not allow the narrator to move inward and remain there. She seems to assume an introspective position as a momentary restful pose. In...
(The entire section is 384 words.)
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