Guest poem submitted by Janice:
(Poem #1876) The Weary Blues
Droning a drowsy syncopated tune, Rocking back and forth to a mellow croon, I heard a Negro play. Down on Lenox Avenue the other night By the pale dull pallor of an old gas light He did a lazy sway . . . He did a lazy sway . . . To the tune o' those Weary Blues. With his ebony hands on each ivory key He made that poor piano moan with melody. O Blues! Swaying to and fro on his rickety stool He played that sad raggy tune like a musical fool. Sweet Blues! Coming from a black man's soul. O Blues! In a deep song voice with a melancholy tone I heard that Negro sing, that old piano moan-- "Ain't got nobody in all this world, Ain't got nobody but ma self. I's gwine to quit ma frownin' And put ma troubles on the shelf." Thump, thump, thump, went his foot on the floor. He played a few chords then he sang some more-- "I got the Weary Blues And I can't be satisfied. Got the Weary Blues And can't be satisfied-- I ain't happy no mo' And I wish that I had died." And far into the night he crooned that tune. The stars went out and so did the moon. The singer stopped playing and went to bed While the Weary Blues echoed through his head. He slept like a rock or a man that's dead
I started out by reading this poem like I read any other poem... and I found that I fell into a rhythm, swaying, saying the words softly under my breath... I could feel the smoky, dim atmosphere fill my room... I could hear the blues player in my head, in front of me, all around me. This is a poem, like the blues, that is pervasive, and all-encompassing, touched by melancholy, it stays with you. I read that Langston Hughes used to write his poetry sitting in little blues bars... and I think that out of all his poems this one captures the fact beautifully. Read it over and over again... you still fall into that rhythm... it's got you by the collar! janice.