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Poetry and Song

Poetry and Song

(p.184) 4 Poetry and Song
Poetry and Its Others
Jahan Ramazani
University of Chicago Press

In homage to the long fellowship between poetry and song, modern and contemporary writers often title their poems “songs.” This book examines how they make use of song lyrics and song forms, quote songs extensively, and even envy song’s collective performance and what Roland Barthes called the singer’s vocal grain. Poetry infuses itself with rock and roll, opera, the blues, jazz, rap, reggae, African praise song, and funeral dirges, among other forms. At the same time, it also distinguishes itself as literary verse— by virtue of its visual layout, self-critique, self-interruption, and semantic complexity. After exploring poetry and song in the work of postcolonial and black British poets such as Jean Binta Breeze and Patience Agbabi, the chapter turns to twenty-first-century American experimental poets such as Rae Armantrout, Michael Palmer, and Tracie Morris, and lyric poets such as Frank Bidart, Kevin Young, Terrance Hayes, and Paul Muldoon.

Keywords:   poetry and song, postcolonial poetry, Jean Binta Breeze, Patience Agbabi, Rae Armantrout, Michael Palmer, Tracie Morris, Frank Bidart, Terrance Hayes, Paul Muldoon

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