Click Image to Visit the Pecan Grove Press Web Page for Poetry from Paradise Valley


Poetry From Paradise Valley

Pecan Grove Press has released an anthology of poems, a sampling of works published in Valparaiso Poetry Review during its first decade, from the original 1999-2000 volume to the 2009-2010 volume.

Poetry from Paradise Valley includes a stellar roster of 50 poets. Among the contributors are a former Poet Laureate of the United States, a winner of the Griffin International Prize, two Pulitzer Prize winners, two National Book Award winners, two National Book Critics Circle winners, six finalists for the National Book Award, four finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Award, two finalists for the Pulitzer Prize, and a few dozen recipients of other honors, such as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, etc.

Readers are encouraged to visit the Poetry from Paradise Valley page at the publisher's web site, where ordering information about the book can be found.

Best Books of Indiana 2011: Finalist. Judges' Citation: "Poetry from Paradise Valley is an excellent anthology that features world-class poetry, including the work of many artists from the Midwest, such as Jared Carter, Annie Finch, David Baker, and Allison Joseph. It’s an eclectic and always interesting collection where poems on similar themes flow into each other. It showcases the highest caliber of U. S. poetry."
—Indiana Center for the Book, Indiana State Library

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Miles Davis

Miles Davis was born on May 26 in 1926. As I mentioned in a previous post (“Bill Evans and Sebastian Matthews”) on “One Poet’s Notes,” this year marks “the 50th anniversary of a monumental moment in jazz history, the production of an album that has stood apart from its contemporaries like no other. For nearly half a century, Kind of Blue, recorded by the Miles Davis Sextet, has maintained its reputation as a groundbreaking achievement and a work that has greatly influenced those generations of jazz musicians who have followed. In Ashley Kahn’s book chronicling the recording, Kind of Blue: The Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece, the author refers to this release as the ‘premier album of its era, jazz or otherwise. Classical buffs and rage rockers alike praise its subtlety, simplicity and emotional depth. Copies of the albums are passed to friends and given to lovers. The album has sold millions of copies around the world, making it the best-selling recording in Miles Davis’s catalog and the best-selling classic jazz album ever.’”

Kind of Blue was recorded in the spring of 1959 and released that summer. Therefore, as a representative piece from Miles Davis, I have selected one of the songs—“So What,” the opening track from that sensational album—in the magnificent clip above, which also features John Coltrane on sax and Wynton Kelly on piano.

In addition, as I stated in the previous article, Kind of Blue stands “among my most frequent selections for entertainment in evenings when reading and especially at those times when I’m writing new poems. I confess that perhaps I sometimes rely on the distinctive rhythmic pacing and overall tones evident in the music to help guide my own phrasing and creation of mood when placing words or ordering images in my poetry.” Therefore, as a personal nod to the inspiration, I also reprint below a poem of my own, titled “Miles Davis,” which first appeared in American Poetry Review and was included in one of my collections, Words Spoken, Words Unspoken (Chimney Hill Press, 1995):


Etched into this limited vista where luxury apartments appear
like inconsistent clusters of mountains, and the bridges

are only ornaments curiously placed at the edge of an ocean,
the anchored ships shoulder the soft wood of the piers,

and a few purple birds disappear beyond a bland horizon,
where a woolen sky does nothing for the bluing hallucination

that dances with the wind as I listen to Miles Davis,
and tonight Manhattan is a pleated dress lying on a blue lawn.

—Edward Byrne

1 comment:

sam of the ten thousand things said...

I really like your poem, Edward. Amazing ending. Thanks for posting it.