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« Thinking of PVT Huy Robert Horowitz on the Anniversary of D-Day (June 6, 1944) | Main | M. F. K. Fisher on the Martini »

June 06, 2021


Wonderful tribute to the amazing anonymous music-makers whose names we never knew. All hail!

Wonderful. Your poem is sending me straight to the music.
Thank you, Dick Lourie

Dick Lourie brings tears of gratitude with his sensibilities in poetry, now more than ever, when sorrow is the loudest song.


dynamite tribute to the 5 royales and steve cropper, and a terrific poem as well...and let me say dick lourie deserves similar tributes as one of the great storyteller/poet/editor/publisher/musicians who helped create and make the alternative small press poetry world of the 20th century as culturally vital as any...

Michael---thank you for the comment, mo chara. I second your assessment.

It's not possible to not read Dick Lourie's poetry aloud--from the very earliest pieces to the present--performance poet with the bonus of all the craft, too. Fantastic.

A lesson delivered by the lyric of abounding grace. So taken to heart and appreciated.

There is no finer historian of the poetry of music and the music of poetry than Dick Lourie. Thank you Dick.

Wonderful poem.

This is all so completely new to me, but if the Beatles bowed, I am ready to do so also.

Amazingly Graceful.Amazing Dick Lourie.Just Amazing!

There is an ever present integrity in Dick Lourie’s words that reflect his vast experience- and experiences. The notes from his sax are no different.

wonderful music, your poem speaks the truth!
Robin & Greg

Dick Lourie gives young people today the chance to know abiutnthe beautiful roots of American music which a handful us were
sound to see, hear and be part of as te Great Depression ended and World War 2 began.

i had the pleasure of doing a program with Dick in 2011 for Lowell Celebrates Kerouac and when Jack nd i debuted what's called Jazz/Poetry in 1957, we always emphasized the relationship offword and music and that the blues and Jazz and all the poetic ways of speaking were all related and made life more meaningful.

Dick's beautiful poem shares all that he has learned and embellished upon as a master of playing i the blues tradition,whch means
always being creative, keeping it for real andnhonring the sanctity of the moment.
'it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing"

Thank you Terence winch for choosing this fine poem for us to read and thank you Best American Poetry Blog for giving us all the chance to hear the voices who have something today of lasting value and who have their OWN way of saying it!

David Amram...(STILL a promising young composer at 90,
in spite of my speedometer assigning me
to becoming a Nonagenarian) ...

Dear David: Thanks so much for that generous & insightful comment.

Wow, the comments are almost as good as the poem. Which is sensationally real & launched me into a frenzy of listening. Thank you, Dick & Terence, as well as everyone who commented. It feels like we're all hanging out & watching art happen in a great way.

Elinor---thanks so much for that comment.

Dick's poem reminds me of John Singleton's sublime "The Five Heartbeats", which reminds us that redemption is a worthy endeavor, as is recognizing the hardworking men and women who helped birth America's rich musical tradition.

Thank you Dick for this testimony and Terence for giving us this work. When inspiration stands on the shoulders of giants we all reap the benefits.

Doug: thanks for the comment.

“Justice” by Dick Lourie kindled a lot of musical memories for me. One vivid one was during the late 1950s when my older cousins in South Philadelphia let me listen to their well-worn singles of “Think” and “Dedicated to the One I Love” by The “5” Royales. I was hopelessly smitten by them, their songs, and that rhythm-and-blues sound, and I soon embarked on a long journey into R&B that occupies a special place in my heart and head to this day. The “5” Royales finally made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an “early influence” in 2015, roughly 50 years after their heyday. If they had recorded just one song, their 1957 hit “Think,” it would spur me right now to join Dick Lourie in kneeling before them to “kiss their shiny shoes.” And I’d ask every one of The “5” Royales to sign the photocopy I brought of “Justice” composed in their honor--and then hand it to Dick.

Earle---thanks for your customary knowledgeable response.

Dick is the best!

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That Ship Has Sailed
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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