Black Music, Black Poetry: Blues and Jazz's Impact on African American Versification

1st Edition

Gordon E. Thompson

Routledge
Published October 11, 2016
Reference - 222 Pages
ISBN 9781138270565 - CAT# Y314989

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Summary

Black Music, Black Poetry offers readers a fuller appreciation of the diversity of approaches to reading black American poetry. It does so by linking a diverse body of poetry to musical genres that range from the spirituals to contemporary jazz. The poetry of familiar figures such as Paul Laurence Dunbar and Langston Hughes and less well-known poets like Harryette Mullen or the lyricist to Pharaoh Sanders, Amos Leon Thomas, is scrutinized in relation to a musical tradition contemporaneous with the lifetime of each poet. Black music is considered the strongest representation of black American communal consciousness; and black poetry, by drawing upon such a musical legacy, lays claim to a powerful and enduring black aesthetic. The contributors to this volume take on issues of black cultural authenticity, of musical imitation, and of poetic performance as displayed in the work of Paul Laurence Dunbar, Langston Hughes, Sterling Brown, Amiri Baraka, Michael Harper, Nathaniel Mackey, Jayne Cortez, Harryette Mullen, and Amos Leon Thomas. Taken together, these essays offer a rich examination of the breath of black poetry and the ties it has to the rhythms and forms of black music and the influence of black music on black poetic practice.

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