( 1986) and, like
Harper Dear John, Dear Coltrane, it attempts to cover the
range of the musician's life, from his childhood to his cremation.
Sadoff wonderful narrative (from Emotional Traffic, 1989) is actually an elegy for Eric Dolphy
from the perspective of Charles Mingus. "When Eric left," the poem begins, "we
played / lost" (68). A splendid writer, Sadoff has often turned to jazz for inspiration.
Komunyakaa explains, "in the jazz-related poem there's a
refrain. Sometimes I will use a refrain during composition -- something that I return to -- but I'll go back later and remove it. Essentially, the refrain keeps me
going -- moving on with the same tone pretty much throughout the poem" ( Kelly,
657). In "The Plea" and a few others, he obviously decided that the refrain was
In Sitting In, Carruth reprinted this series as one long poem titled Three
This session appeared as a 78 (Commodore 1516) titled Albert Ammons
Rhythm Kings. One side featured "Bottom Blues," discussed in the poem, and
the other "Jamin' the Boogie." In a later poem, "An Expatiation on the Combining of Weathers at Thirty-Seventh and Indiana Where the Southern More or Less
Crosses the Dog," Carruth imagines himself playing with Ammons and Catlett,
among others ( Tell Me Again, 1989).
Kinds of Blue is one of three books, all of which bear the subtitle Musical
Memoirs. The other two are Bodies & Soul ( 1981) and Things Ain't What They
Used to Be ( 1987). Selections from these books, as well as an essay on Robert
Johnson, appear in Drowning in the Sea of Love ( 1995).
This gesture is similar to the final couplet in Bill Zavatsky's "Elegy," dedicated to Bill Evans: "The sunlight and the shade you carried us / We drank, tasting
our bitter lives more sweetly / From the spring of song that never stops its kiss"
( Feinstein and
Komunyakaa, 245). It is interesting to compare this poem to his
elegy from the seventies, "To the Pianist Bill Evans" (discussed in the previous
chapter); whereas that poem concluded with a hand-holding gesture, a need for
comfort, the speaker in "Elegy" seems more serene and less stricken by death.
Balliett Whitney. "Young Guns". The New Yorker ( June 5, 1995): 97-99.
Breslin James E. B. From Modern to Contemporary: American Poetry, 1945- 1965. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1983.
Carruth Hayden. Brothers, I Loved You All. New York: Sheep Meadow Press, 1978.
-----. Collected Shorter Poems 1946- 1991. Port Townsend: Copper Canyon, 1992.
-----. Nothing for Tigers: Poems 1959- 1964. New York: Macmillan, 1965.
-----. Sitting In: Selected Writings on Jazz, Blues, and Related Topics. Iowa City: University of Iowa, 1986.
-----. Tell Me Again How the White Heron Rises and Flies across the Nacreous
River toward the Distant Islands. New York: New Directions, 1989.
Early Gerald. Tuxedo Junction. New York: Ecco, 1989.