1. wordwizard
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    wordwizard Contributing Member

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    The Blues Poem

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by wordwizard, Apr 12, 2007.

    I pretty much copied word for word what the other sites said. I found that if thoroughly read you will be able to understand what a blues poem is. If you want to find the site yourself go to google.com and type in how to write a blues poem.

    One of the most popular forms of American poetry, the blues poem stems from the African American oral tradition and the musical tradition of the blues. A blues poem typically takes on themes such as struggle, despair, and sex. It often (but not necessarily) follows a form, in which a statement is made in the first line, a variation is given in the second line, and an ironic alternative is declared in the third line.
    African-American writer Ralph Ellison said that although the blues are often about struggle and depression, they are also full of determination to overcome difficulty "through sheer toughness of spirit." This resilience in the face of hardship is one of the hallmarks of the blues poem.

    There are two types of blues poems. The first type has no particular form, but has the content typical of the blues.

    Evil
    Looks like what drives me crazy
    Don't have no effect on you--
    But I'm gonna keep on at it
    'Till it drives you crazy too.

    The second type of blues poem is one that has blues content and the structure of the old blues sons. examples by langston hughes

    Morning After
    I was so sick last night I
    Didn't hardly know my mind.
    So sick last night I
    Didn't hardly know my mind.
    I drunk some bad licker that
    Almost made me blind.
    Had a dream last night I
    Thought I was in hell.
    I drempt last night I
    Thought I was in hell.
    Woke up and looked around me--
    Babe, your mouth was open like a well.
    I said, Baby! Baby!
    Please don't snore so loud.
    Baby! Please!
    Please don't snore so loud.
    You jest like a little bit o' woman but you
    Sound like a great big crowd.

    Notice the repetition of lines (with slight variations). The traditional blues stanza consisted of three lines: a first line repeated (often with variations) as the second line, then a different line, all rhyming, as in:
    I
    n the evenin', in the evenin' momma, when the sun go down,
    In the evenin', darlin' I declare, when the sun go down,
    Yes, it's so lonesome, so lonesome, when the one you love is not around.

    In "Morning After," Hughes uses this form, only he breaks three long lines into six shorter ones.

    As its name suggests, blues songs are about hopelessness, grief, and loss. But they are more than that
    blues do not offer a solution to the human condition. They do, however, offer a resolution: acceptance of pain, sickness, and death that is marked by grace and irony, and a defiant decision to preserve the human spirit. And as Hughes' "Morning After" shows, a blues poem can even express the humor of a bad situation. Generally, though, they are more serious:

    As Befits a Man
    I don't mind dying--
    But I'd hate to die all alone!
    I want a dozen pretty women
    To holler, cry, and moan.
    I don't mind dying
    But I want my funeral to be fine:
    A row of long, tall mamas
    Fainting, fanning, and crying.
    I want a fish-tail hearse
    And sixteen fish-tail cars,
    A big brass band
    And a whole truck load of flowers,
    When they let me down,
    Down into the clay,
    I want the women to holler:
    Please don't' take him away!
    Ow-ooo-oo-o!
    Don't take Daddy away!

    To write a blues poem, think of something that depresses you. For example, the "I ain't got no money blues," I ain't got nothing but D's on my report card blues," and "My parents are driving me crazy blues." To get a better feel for the blues, one MUST listen to blues music. And remember, in blues poems the language is usually, "down home." That is, it ain't bad to say "ain't."
     
  2. Sayso
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    Sayso Contributing Member

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    I just had to say Wordwizard, that blues smilie is true inspiration! Well done! :D :D :D
     
  3. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    hahahaha yeah I agree with you Sayso....lol...

    Thanks for the description on this piece wordwizard, the explanantion is very well put.

    Have you ever tried to write a poem like this though??? I have once and it was not easy really but turned out well, was for an assigment back in highschool. Was a lot of fun to be honest.
     
  4. wordwizard
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    wordwizard Contributing Member

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    I have never ever tried, but I plan on it!!!
     
  5. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    well can't wait to see what you come up with :)
     
  6. Sayso
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    Sayso Contributing Member

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    Came back for a more thorough read.

    I love the snoring one, it's strangely compulsive reading. It's an interesting form though I don't know if I'd be comfortable writing like this myself.

    Thanks for researching Wordwizard.
     
  7. wordwizard
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    wordwizard Contributing Member

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    no problem. Glad you enjoyed what I found.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    hughes is one of america's finest poets... if you like his work, you should love maya angelou's...

    the fact that both are black writers certainly gives them an edge on the 'blues' just as it does with musicians... but don't let that stop you from giving it a go...
     

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