Title: JELLY ROLL: A Blues
Publisher: Knopf, New York
Publication Date: 2003
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: very good +
Signed: Signed by Author(s)
Edition: Stated First edition
8vo. Cloth illustrated with mosaic of blues sheet music covers. 186 pages. SIGNED by the author on the title page. No (other) names or marks. Crisp, illustrated dust-jacket (with price intact) has very slight edge wear at corners, else Fine. A signed copy of Young's third book. Bookseller Inventory # 000834
Synopsis: In this jaunty and intimate collection, Kevin Young invents a language as shimmying and comic, as low-down and high-hearted, as the music from which he draws inspiration. With titles such as ?Stride Piano,? ?Gutbucket,? and ?Can-Can,? these poems have the sharp completeness of vocalized songs and follow a classic blues trajectory: praising and professing undying devotion (?To watch you walk / cross the room in your black / corduroys is to see / civilization start?), only to end up lamenting the loss of love (?No use driving / like rain, past / where you at?). As Young conquers the sorrow left on his doorstep, the poems broaden to embrace not just the wisdom that comes with heartbreak but the bittersweet wonder of triumphing over adversity at all.
Sexy and tart, playfully blending an African American idiom with traditional lyric diction, Young?s voice is pure American: joyous in its individualism and singing of the self at its strongest.
From the Back Cover:
?It is one thing to acknowledge that the blues are a kind of poetry, but another to produce a book of authentic poetry that constitutes a new kind of blues. Tender, sassy, and just plain cool, the poems in Kevin Young?s Jelly Roll uniquely twine together the roots of both music and language. You can almost hear the three chords in the background.?
?In Young?s alchemy, succulent scraps are gathered from daily life, distilled, and emerge, finally, as portable nuggets of home, carried wherever the poet may travel.?
? Voice Literary Supplement
?This poet?s gift of storytelling and understanding of the music inherent in the oral tradition of language re-creates for us an inner history which is compelling and authentic and American.?
?As a poet, Young is as dazzlingly agile and as hard-hitting as Jack Johnson in his prime.?
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