Tribes of New York
Frank O'Hara, Amiri Baraka, and
the Poetics of the Five Spot
No poetry has come out of England of major importance for forty years,
yet there are would-be Negro poets who reject the gaudy excellence
of 20th century American poetry in favor of disemboweled Academic
models of second-rate English poetry. … It would be better if such
a poet … listened to the tragic verse of Billie Holliday than be con-
tent to imperfectly imitate the bad poetry of the ruined minds of Europe.
LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka), Blues People
Proof? “Oh it's a mighty poor theory
that can't abide a couple of facts
to the contrary,” said William James.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
still I throw
myself away by the handfuls
on you who still repay me
with looks of love so burning
from your wintry pallor
I am confounded, but
speechless I am not
to whom is given to declare
among the Americans
just how a thing is,
and what I say I do.
Paul Goodman, “A Pragmatic Love Song”