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The Poetics of American Song Lyrics$
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Charlotte Pence

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781617031564

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617031564.001.0001

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At the Crossroads: The Intersection of Poetry and the Blues

At the Crossroads: The Intersection of Poetry and the Blues

(p.90) At the Crossroads: The Intersection of Poetry and the Blues
The Poetics of American Song Lyrics

Keith Flynn

University Press of Mississippi

America’s poets and musicians have fostered a symbiotic relationship, especially in the last five decades. Some of the poets who have been influenced by the blues they have heard range from Amiri Baraka and Carl Sandburg to Jayne Cortez, Lucille Clifton, Michael Harper, Langston Hughes, Yusef Komunyakaa, Gwendolyn Brooks, Mina Loy, Leonard Cohen, Patti Smith, and Kevin Young. The first blues songs were sung in the fields, with the lyrics forming a code understood by all the workers. This chapter analyzes the relationship between poetry and the blues.

Keywords:   poets, blues, Carl Sandburg, Langston Hughes, Yusef Komunyakaa, Kevin Young, songs, lyrics, poetry, music

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