poems, mostly metrical, and rants and raves on poets, poetry, and the po-biz (with 8-string stuff)
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Everyday I Have the Blues!

Today the inestimable Anny Ballardini (her blog and fieralingue) pointed the New Poetry List to a new site, Poetry through the Ages, which looks like it may be very useful, and it’s lots of fun to navigate. There’s some weirdness: a page on the rondeau claims its structure “was an early precursor to American blues music, with expatriates like Josephine Baker learning about the form in Paris.”

I’d say “Oh my!” were it not for my own presentation a couple of weeks ago at a blues-themed open mic at the Prince Frederick County Library: my first poem was this sonnet saying farewell to booze and coffee (yeah, right), and then I said something like this: “One of the distinguishing features of the blues, at least the standard 12 bar variety, is the repeated line before the rhyme, so I’m gonna read some poetry with refrains.”

And so I did, starting with this rondeau reduoble, and including a pantoum, a triolet, and even a double refrain ballade.

Just like Robert Johnson.

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2 comments

1 Tad Richards { 04.24.09 at 8:15 am }

I’ve always thought there was a connection between the blues and the ghazal. Both connect back to Africa, both use repetition, both have self-contained verses that make them almost mini-short story anthologies, both make thematic rather than linear connections. Both celebrate the composer, often having self-referential verses.

2 Mike { 04.24.09 at 9:12 am }

I think you’ve got something there, Tad.

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