Music and Modern Literature Jazz And Poetry - Essay

Jazz And Poetry

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

Charles Fair

SOURCE: "Poetry and Jazz," in Chicago Review, Vol. 29, No. 1, Summer, 1977, pp. 22-9.

[In the following essay, Fair compares trends in the development of jazz and poetry from the 1920s onward.]

Even though they didn't mix very well when jazz was played as background music for poetry in the clubs and coffee houses of the later 1950's, the two arts have a good deal in common. Perhaps because of their emotional intensity, both seem to work best in short forms. And their force and directness owe much (but not everything) to technical virtuosity.

Some apparently simple poems (such as Nazim Hikmet's "Oh Living") or...

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