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  1. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    Jack Keroac’s Blues Poetry

    Discussion in 'Poetry' started by OurJud, Jul 16, 2019.

    Has anyone read any of JK blues poetry? To quote from the introduction to a collection I bought recently, “Much of it is painful, at times even contemptible...”

    From what I can gather from this introduction Kerouac wanted to capture the essence of jazz music in his poetry. Whether or not he pulls this off I don’t know, as I know nothing about jazz music. What I do know is that painful and contemptible is right when it comes to the poems.

    I applaud anyone who does things their own way, but I find most of the poems (titled ‘Choruses’) virtually unreadable.

    Kerouac wrote incessantly while on his travels, in a small notebook which dictated line length and such.

    Anyway many of these chorus poems are out there on the internet and I’d like to hear others take on them.
     
  2. CrimsonAngel

    CrimsonAngel Banned

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    I haven't read his work but I have heard of him.
     
  3. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Modern Dinosaur Staff Supporter Contributor

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    ...I don't like them...

    I see what he's trying to do, and I respect that, but they come off as very rambly and hard to follow often. Of course, it doesn't help that I'm not much of a Kerouac fan, but I just don't find them worth the time or study. Big Sur or one of his others I'd be much more willing to read, but not his poems or scripts. They are difficult in that they are very dependent on knowing the small aspects of the time and all of the people involved. There certainly is jazz influence, especially involving the script writing, but he doesn't flow as easy. More along the lines of the frantic muted trumpet solos than that of the slow beats on the bass.
     
  4. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Swaggin like a Baggins Contributor

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    I thought I had his Book of Blues, but it's his Book of Sketches I have, and they are similar in form and flow. His jazz influence, as EFMingo said, is indeed there, but unless one approaches it like the rest of his work--an attempt to see what he saw and understand why he felt it necessary to write down all of it as it happened--it is rather discombobulating to follow. There seems to be no actual structure, but that's what Kerouac is known for, so it makes sense that even when he attempts to imitate a certain style, even one he loved like jazz and blues, he inevitably falls back on what feels better to him. I'm in no way a Kerouac expert, but I am rather a fan of his work.
     
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  5. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    This is why I (perhaps wrongly) pay little attention to what a poet is trying to do. It matters only to me whether I enjoy it or not and knowing Kerouac’s poetry in this instance was influenced by jazz makes it no easier to digest. Just keep it simple and void of hidden messages and you’re already half way there as far as I’m concerned.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2021
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  6. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Modern Dinosaur Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Honestly, it usually makes me even more critical. That's probably why I like these poems less than I should, since they don't really match my expectations.
     
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