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Blues Poems (Everyman's Library Pocket…

Blues Poems (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets)

by Kevin Young (Editor)

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While I'm not much of a blues girl, I enjoy the cultural and social history behind them. This is a fine collection - although they left out Billie Holiday on the grounds she's more jazz than blues, which was slightly vexing. But, that's a personal issue. I found this to be a fine, well-rounded collection. Young's introduction about blues was an excellent start to a collection that includes song lyrics, poems about the blues, and poems about blues singers, all from the beginning of the blues to recent years. For anyone interested in blues, Black culture in the 1930s and 40s, poetry, or Black history, this is an excellent choice. A well-done collection ( )
  empress8411 | Jan 12, 2015 |
I picked this book up as a lark. I am really glad that I did. I learned alot about suffering and the ways people suffer. It took alot to understand the repeating nature of the first stanza but once you read further you let that slide and read on. The blues is angry, painful, sexy, seductive, rebellious and joyful all in one. Excellent book. ( )
  seki | Jan 21, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375414584, Hardcover)

Born in African American work songs, field hollers, and the powerful legacy of the spirituals, the blues traveled the country from the Mississippi delta to “Sweet Home Chicago,” forming the backbone of American music. In this anthology–the first devoted exclusively to blues poems–a wide array of poets pay tribute to the form and offer testimony to its lasting power.

The blues have left an indelible mark on the work of a diverse range of poets: from “The Weary Blues” by Langston Hughes and “Funeral Blues” by W. H. Auden, to “Blues on Yellow” by Marilyn Chin and “Reservation Blues” by Sherman Alexie. Here are blues-influenced and blues-inflected poems from, among others, Gwendolyn Brooks, Allen Ginsberg, June Jordan, Richard Wright, Nikki Giovanni, Charles Wright, Yusef Komunyakaa, and Cornelius Eady. And here, too, are classic song lyrics–poems in their own right–from Bessie Smith, Robert Johnson, Ma Rainey, and Muddy Waters.

The rich emotional palette of the blues is fully represented here in verse that pays tribute to the heart and humor of the music, and in poems that swing with its history and hard-bitten hope.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:38 -0400)

The blues-a musical tradition uniquely American-has had a powerful influence on American poets, and this scintillating anthology offers a richness of poetry as varied and vital as the music that inspired it.

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