Jazz Poetry: From the 1920s to the Present

By Sascha Feinstein | Go to book overview
( 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.
7
"Many times," 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 necessary.
8
In Sitting In, Carruth reprinted this series as one long poem titled Three Paragraphs.
9
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).
10
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).
11
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.

REFERENCES

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.

-181-

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Jazz Poetry: From the 1920s to the Present
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • 1 - Jazz Poetry: an Introduction 1
  • Notes 12
  • References 13
  • 2 - The Sin in Syncopation 15
  • Notes 36
  • References 38
  • 3 - Weary Blues, Harlem Galleries, and Southern Roads 41
  • Notes 57
  • References 59
  • 4 - From Obscurity to Fad: Jazz and Poetry in Performance 61
  • Notes 81
  • References 85
  • 5 - Chasin' the Bird: Charlie Parker and the Enraptured Poets of the Fifties 89
  • Notes 110
  • References 113
  • 6 - The John Coltrane Poem 115
  • Notes 136
  • References 140
  • 7 - Goodbye Porkpie Hat: Farewells and Remembrances 143
  • Notes 158
  • References 159
  • 8 - An Enormous Yes: Contemporary Jazz Poetry 163
  • Notes 180
  • References 181
  • Index 183
  • About the Author *
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