poets and jazz bios


Sarah and Lucy landed in England this morning around 8 AM Holland Michigan time. Matthew texted that they home safe and sound by 9 AM. This means both of my daughters and granddaughters Alex and Lucy are now safely back home.

Eileen and I have had a very lazy day. We got up late (me around 8, Eileen more like 10). This is a very good thing since we are both a bit tired from the last couple of weeks.

Image result for without donald hall

I finished reading Donald Hall’s first book of poems after his wife died, Without. I’m not sure what I think about it. The grief in it is palpable and arouses my sympathy. I can’t tell if the poems are any good. In fact, they don’t feel like poetry to me since he rehearses many of the facts around the life and death of Jane Kenyon that I already know. No one poem jumped out at me. I continue my examination of his work after Kenyon’s death and have started reading The Painted Bed.

Image result for the painted bed donald hall

This book holds out more promise for better poems. I also have been dipping into Kenyon’s posthumous collection, Otherwise. The book has been sitting on my shelves. I have read in it but not finished it. It’s interesting to read her poems and think about them after Donald Hall has also died.

Image result for leonard cohen the flame

Speaking of dead poets, I am reading Leonard Cohen’s The Flame. As I read it I wonder if he is my guilty pleasure. He has written some excellent songs and poems. But many of them are not good. I find that usually I still like them. I’m enjoying this book especially because everything in it is new to me.

Jelly Roll Morton in Washington Webcast | Library of Congress

I stumbled across this last night and watched some it on YouTube. I was very surprised to learn about Szewd’s scholarly work on Jazz. I am eager to see how his bios of Miles Davis and Billy Holiday hold up.

Image result for szwed miles davis

I have read bios of both of Davis and Holiday and have found them unsatisfactory. Szewd’s work looks promising. The local library owns four of his books and I have put the bio of Miles Davis and Jazz 101 on hold.

Image result for szwed jazz 101

Davis and Holiday are huge presences in my musical world. Both have a bit of larger than life persona that doesn’t always add up. But I do love their music.

Republicans are terrified of the “left-wing mob”: What really scares them is losing | Salon.com

I think of Salon as a bit of an echo chamber source for me. But I am reading more of those these days. I have this bookmarked to read.

Alternative Nobel literature prize goes to Maryse Condé | Books | The Guardian

I follow Tyhimba Jess on Facebook. He put this link up. I don’t know  Maryse Condé , but I think Jess’s work is amazing and if he speaks highly of a writer I’m interested.

Michigan Voter Information Center

When we dropped off Sarah’s absentee ballot, Eileen and I applied for and received our own absentee ballots. If you’re over sixty you don’t need a reason to request one. I thought I would do so to make sure I haven’t been purged from the rolls by the local Republicans. At the above link, I can follow the progress of my vote after I drop it off.

Juan Williams: Trump, the Great Destroyer | TheHill

I have read Juan Williams’ bio of Thurgood Marshall and like it. However, as a public commentator sometimes he seems too conservative for me.  But his new book looks good. The comments section on the above article flame the hell out of him from the brain dead right. That alone might be enough to make me take another look at what he’s doing.

Image result for juan williams what the hell do you have to lose

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