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Blues Poems (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets) Hardcover – September 2, 2003

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Blues Poems (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets) + Jazz Poems (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets) + Ma Rainey's Black Bottom: A Play (Plume)
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Editorial Reviews

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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 has 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.
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Product Details

  • Series: Everyman's Library Pocket Poets
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Everyman's Library (September 2, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375414584
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375414589
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.8 x 6.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #763,319 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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.
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By Vivene Harris on February 23, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Enjoyed the poems. Was also happy that Jamaican poet Walcott was included
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JoAnn Anglin on May 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Here, the poet brings us the inherent heartbreak, humor, and timeless wisdom embodied in this most American art form. A rhythmic tribute to the music and emotions of sorrow and wry acceptance.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James D. Crabtree VINE VOICE on July 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I wish this had concentrated on the works of poets from the 1920s and 1930s.... by including musical lyrics and poems from the 1960s (R-rated) and Haikus it really watered down the the sort of collection I was looking for. However, there were several good ones, including "Note on Commercial Theatre" and "The FB Eye Blues," but most of the good ones are in the first part of the book.
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