Charles Loudon* – The Fox Chase Review
April is National Poetry Month in the United States and I have selected some of my favorite poets to share for this special month. These reviews might be called mini-reviews, short introduction and a sampling from the book. There are always those who announce the impending death of poetry as an elitist art form that cannot survive tough economic times, I do not concur. Poets during these times forged in the working class rise to the occasion and bring the soul back to poetry. It is during these times that poetry moves from the cocoon of the universities back to the streets for poets to reflect the emotions of the people and give hope and truth to those who seek it out.
Selected Poems of Langston Hughes, Vintage Classics, 297 pages.
I am never quite sure who influenced who more, Langston Hughes or the early Jazz and Blues artists of the former century. Hughes wrote with a lyrical intensity that remains unmatched today. His blues poems, love poems and polemical poems lift from the page as you read through this selected poetry collection.
From Young Gal’s Blues
I’m gonna walk to the graveyard/ ‘Hind ma friend Miss Cora Lee. Gonna walk to the graveyard/ ‘Hind ma dear friend Miss Cora Lee/ Cause when I’m dead some/Body’ll have to walk behind me.
I’m goin’ to the po’ house/ To see ma old Aunt Clew. Goin’ to the po’ house/To see ma old Aunt Clew. When I’m old an’ ugly/ I’ll want to see somebody, too.
From A Black Pierrot
I am a black Pierrot: She did not love me, So I crept away into the night/And the night was black, too.
I am a black Pierrot: She did not love me, So I wept until the dawn/ Dripped blood Over the eastern hills/ And my heart was bleeding, too.
I am a black Pierrot: She did not love me, So with my once gay-colored soul/Shrunken like a balloon without air, I went forth in the morning/ To seek a new brown love.
Early Poems by Robert Frost, Penguin Classics, 274 pages
Frost did not receive recognition until traveling to Europe, embraced by Pound, his first work was published. The Farmer/Poet from New Hampshire became Poet Laureate. A subtle poet, Frost brings the reader into his life and thoughts using a wide range of lyrical, sonnet and narrative forms.
From The Mountain
The mountain held the town as in a shadow/ I saw so much before I slept there once: I noticed that I missed stars in the west, Where black body cut into the sky. Near me it seemed: I felt it like a wall/ Behind which I was sheltered from a wind. And yet between the town and it I found/ When I walked forth at dawn to see new Things/ Were fields, a river, and beyond, more fields.
The river at the time was fallen away/ And made a widespread brawl on cobble-stones; But the signs showed what it had done in spring; Good grass-land gullied out, and in the grass/ Ridges of sand, and driftwood stripped of bark.
I crossed the river and swung round the mountain. And there I met a man who moved so slow/ With white-faced oxen in a heavy cart, It seemed no harm to stop him altogether.
From Into My Own
One of my wishes is that those dark trees/ So old and firm they scarcely show the breeze/ Were not, as ‘twere, the merest mask of gloom/ But stretched away unto the edge of doom.
I should not be withheld but that some day/ Into their vastness I should steal away/ Fearless of ever finding open land/ Or highway where the slow wheel pours the sand.
*Charles Loudon lives on Cottman Avenue in Philadelphia, he is not sure if he lives in Fox Chase or Burholme depending on who he speaks with. He is frequent visitor to the Ryerss Library