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Favorites:"Ragtime," "Stride Piano," "Errata," "Rhapsody," "Lyre," "Evensong," "Interlude," "Late Blues," "Elegy, Niagra Falls"Excellent use of enjambment/line breaks; wonderful richness of "simple" language, beautiful arc. Best book of poetry I've read in a while.
Witty, wistful, elegiac are among the hues of Kevin Young's blues, Jelly Roll's lyricism, incisiveness, and humor reminiscent of poems by Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Pablo Neruda, its oft-staccato and fragmentary lines deftly and evocatively fusing the "formal" and "colloquial," the result less code-switching than code-breaking. Highly recommended.
I loved this. Great collection of poems that tell the story of a relationship, using music--especially American music forms--to trace the emotional arc of the relationship and tie all the poems together. The language of the poems is musical, the voice decidedly American, often specifically African American. Some of the poems also hark of Emily Dickinson, in their use of long interruptive dashes and short but intensely thoughtful and emotional phrases. The early poems in the collection tend to be...
This was a really fun book of poetry to read... playful and musical and earthy and sexy. I need to read more by Kevin Young.
Kevin Young and The Blues Tradition Kevin Young is the author and editor of seven collections of poetry (with an eighth on the way), winner of the Zacharis First Book (Poets.org) and other awards, and admired professor of poetry at Emory University. In reading Young and considering his words closely, even those which are perhaps tinged with a fair measure of hubris, I step out of the vacuum of my own literary preferences to quickly become aware of how many Americans are little interested in poet...
If you love music and poetry - you will really enjoy this one.
This is the second book of poetry I've read by Kevin Young, the first being BROWN. This collection focuses on the trajectory of a relationship, more on its breaking up and transformations than on its establishment. Most of the poem titles come from musical terminology, and while I am familiar with many of the terms, I'm not always picking up on their connections to the text of the poems. No matter. I enjoy the collection and can recommend it to readers of poetry . . . even if I slightly prefer B...
“hands I seek - zombied - The bayou of my blood - standing water and ‘squitoes.” I love Young’s poetry, but until I encountered this 189 page book of poetry around the same theme that I wondered why books of poems aren’t longer. I’ll have to think more on it, because there is something to be said for the monotony of romantic loss, but this is definitely a book to pick up and put down over the course of a month or so.
The dust jacket says “jaunty and intimate,” which is not as direct as “A lot of these are about sex.” Some truly standout poems (including many of those “intimate” ones), but the collection as a whole is not as thoroughly amazing as his *Dear Darkness.*
Wonderful, a blues song every poem.
I like this book because it contains things that go according to the theme and it is also very accurate
Enjoyed this book of poetry. The rhythm and themes resonated with me. Open, vulnerable and insightful at times.
Using a variety of rhythmic song forms, from “Cheer” (22) to “Ditty” (15) or “Country (& Western)” (79) to “Disaster Movie Theme Music” (84), Kevin Young’s third collection of poetry is an inspiring look at the intersection of music and poetry. The poems mostly deal with love and relationships, as seen through the shaded lens of an aged blues singer. But Young is a deft observer of current culture and he balances the melodramatic tone of his blues with humorous images and motifs from popular mu
This was absolutely fantastic. I loved his form; his words very very sparse, there were absolutely no extraneous or unnecessary filler words. I loved the shortness of the lines in most of his poems. I just think the form and style he uses is really great. That alone would make his poetry absolutely gorgeous.What makes it even more gorgeous is the way he plays with sound. There are poems where the words or phrases don't really connect much to each other, but that doesn't matter because they sound...
*Jelly Roll: A Blues* (Knopf), Kevin Young's third book, combines street talk and haiku, Africa and Georgia snow, decrescendos and dream talk. The free verse poems here have a jazzy, improvised feel; they're nonmetrical but rhythmically accomplished and highly syncopated. Perhaps the most dazzling, if seemingly minor, aspect of *Jelly Roll* is the titles, which signify Young's knowlede of music and his willingness to play with traditions in order to create a style entirely his own. "Busing," "Ro...
I'm a sucker for that spare semi-autistic voice that Emily Dickinson invented well nigh 150 years ago, and Kevin Young's variation of it (inflected with Langston Hughes blues rhythms and John Berryman backwards grammar) is fun (!) and unique. These are not "difficult" poems by any means, but they are blunt, unrelenting, and re-readable (especially the lust poems at the beginning). I wish his sense of humor didn't depart him so thoroughly in the death poems at the end, and the tedious "Sleepwalki...
i stumbled on this in the library at univeristy. my favorite quote: from the poem "boasts": Wouldn’t be no fig leaf/ if I was Adam/ but a palm tree./ Once I danced all/ night, till dawn/ & I—who never/ did get along—/ decided to call a truce—/ my body/ buckets lighter,/ we shook hands/ & called it blues./ Mama, I’m the man/ with the most/ biggest feet—/ when I step out/ my door to walk the dog/ round the block/ I’m done.
Haven't read a book of poetry in a while and this was a pleasant surprise--found it by accident among the new releases at the library. His titles are all music-related--like "ragtime" and "jitterbug," "dirge" and "muzak"--so it was the theme that pulled me in, but the contents are surprising and sexy. I haven't enjoyed a new writer this much in a long time; definitely worth seeking out his first two books.
I absolutely hated this! It is was monotonous and boring. He loudly places himself in the "blues" poetry tradition (made famous by Langston Hues & Sterling Brown. He is young (as his name implies), but arrogant. It made me feel like this got published because it would sell well, versus actually being quality work. However, everyone has different tastes in poetry, so I'm sure some people loved it.
I'll admit, I don't read poetry often, so I liked this book, but I didn't LOVE it. I'm also not a big fan of blues and there is a blues musicality to these poems. There were a few that stuck out for me...ETUDE, MIC CHECK, PASTORALE, and ELEGY, NIAGARA FALLS. I do plan to check out his other books.
Kevin Young is one of the best poets I have ever read. You read the words on the pages with your eyes but they enter your head as music (dirty, gritty, blues). If I could I would wrap myself in his words and fall asleep to the rhythms that they create.
This is my favorite book of poetry of all time. I go back to this book whenever I need inspiration: the turns of words and phrases, the lust, love, and loss portrayed in the book, the imagery, all show what poetry is possible of creating.
Kevin Young is for anyone who likes poetry and jazz. You can hear the music in his lines.
i really like poem books by famous worldwide authors. great authors. if you read this bookyou will be amazed Devin Anglada 6/2/2009
Gorgeous rhythmic poetry, sexy as all get out, sometimes funny, sometimes sad. I want all of Young's books RIGHT NOW.
Reading it again. Something about this book I keep returning to.
Love. Poetry that oozes the blues. Language that rips out your guts. In a good way. For grown-ups.
This is a great collection of poetry. I love the way Young's work feels. It's so smooth and small and stilted, like Dickinson. Like it's trying so hard to be perfect, but also hardly cares.
Big-time Belly Button Blues by Forever Young and Restless.
I don't read a lot of poetry, so I can only speak to my experience reading this. I loved it.