quick blog


I had planned to write a blog about the poetry I am reading. I wanted to talk about it some detail and was planning to make it clear that’s what kind of blog it was (that way, my fam could skip it reassured there was no family stuff in it).

But then my daughter called us from England on Google Hangouts. It was fun to talk to her and catch up and see Lucy live.

After that I went to church and practiced. Eileen and I are planning a beach trip today, so I needed to do that before we left.

Eileen is putting lawn chairs in the car. We will drop by Mom’s to say hi and then head off to the Sight Eye Clinic to pick up my clip on sunglasses for my new glasses then to the beach.

Anyway, the poetry I’m thinking about is Derek Walcott and new writer Tyehimba Jess. I am nearing the end of Walcott’s Omeros and am finding it amazing. In a recent section, Walcott is visited by Homer in the form of a statue. It’s kind of vague. But the point is that Homer provided inspiration and direction and consolation to Walcott for the very poem the reader is reading. It made me think how real great artists are to me. People like Bach, Brahms, and so on. They are as alive to me as Walcott’s Homer. And they are also as forbidding as statues to me sometime.

Image result for olio jess

I checked out Olio by Tyehima Jess. I was looking at this poet before vacation and decided  to wait until afterwards to explore his work. Olio won the Pulitzer Prize in poetry and I can now see why. It’s a complicated work which surveys and interprets African American life from Slavery through early Jazz it looks like from the poet of view of the music.

How could I not go for that? I am definitely going to own a real copy of this work. “Olio” is the name for a certain curtain in vaudeville and was used to refer to the second part of a minstrel show in which there was a wide variety of acts. It’s also a word for “hodge podge” and a Spanish recipe.

The first section of the book introduces The Fisk Jubilee singers (a group I am very interested in) as sort of a chorus. Then comes a(fictionalized?)  letter from a Pullman porter to W. E. B. Dubois about Scott Joplin’s last days. I am definitely hooked. I’m taking it with me to the beach.

Image result for olio jess

This is art from the book. I think it might be by Jess himself. Sorry if there are typos in this blog because I’m not proofing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.