Read Jimmy's Blues and Other Poems Online Free - All of the published poetry of James Baldwin, including six significant poems previously only available in a limited edition
During his lifetime (1924–1987), James Baldwin authored seven novels, as well as several plays and essay collections, which were published to wide-spread praise. These books, among them Notes of a Native Son, The Fire Next Time, Giovanni’s Room, and Go Tell It on the Mountain, brought him well-deserved acclaim as a public intellectual and admiration as a writer. However, Baldwin’s earliest writing was in poetic form, and Baldwin considered himself a poet throughout his lifetime. Nonetheless, his single book of poetry, Jimmy’s Blues, never achieved the popularity of his novels and nonfiction, and is the one and only book to fall out of print.
This new collection presents James Baldwin the poet, including all nineteen poems from Jimmy’s Blues, as well as all the poems from a limited-edition volume called Gypsy, of which only 325 copies were ever printed and which was in production at the time of his death. Known for his relentless honesty and startlingly prophetic insights on issues of race, gender, class, and poverty, Baldwin is just as enlightening and bold in his poetry as in his famous novels and essays. The poems range from the extended dramatic narratives of “Staggerlee wonders” and “Gypsy” to the lyrical beauty of “Some days,” which has been set to music and interpreted by such acclaimed artists as Audra McDonald. Nikky Finney’s introductory essay reveals the importance, relevance, and rich rewards of these little-known works. Baldwin’s many devotees will find much to celebrate in these pages.
|Title||:||Jimmy's Blues and Other Poems|
|Number of Pages||:||120 pages|
October 16, 2016
I didn't realize James Baldwin was a poet on top of being a master essayist and novelist. I was happy to encounter this book of one long poem and a handful of shorter poems when I was up in the middle of the night looking for poetry ebooks in the library catalog.
Without question, "Jimmy's Blues"...
January 01, 2018
Well. Niggers don't own nothing,
got no flag, even our names
and you don't change that
by calling yourself X:
sometimes that just makes it worse,
like obliterating the path that leads back
to whence you came, and
to where you can begin.
And, anyway, none of this changes the reality...
January 25, 2016
Prior to reading a poem of Baldwin's in From Totems to Hip-Hop: A Multicultural Anthology of Poetry Across America, I had no idea that he was a poet in addition to his more famous work as an novelist and essayist. Not only is he a poet, he's quite a good one, and I'm very glad this was my first i...
August 02, 2014
I was online shopping when I ran across Jimmy's Blues and Other Poems. I picked it up and I read straight through. I had no idea Baldwin had written poetry. Having only read two of his novels I was happily surprised by the depth and universal themes found in his poems. Most of the poems are dedic...
August 24, 2016
creates the situation,
and then, the situation
It may, of course,
be the other way around:
Columbus was discovered
by what he found.
when you send the rain,
think about it, please,
not get carried away
by the sound of falling wat...
December 04, 2015
I definitely am a bigger fan of Baldwin's prose, but these poems are still important and give a good insight into a more playful dimension of his writing. Some of these are apocalyptic, while others are like old love songs. I'm especially interested in some of the themes which move throughout the...
January 04, 2018
Any writer worth their salt is a poet at heart and their poetic output is often the key to understanding their art. I find it interesting how so many of the poems collected here (his entire poetic oeuvre) are dedicated to the people in his life. There's an intimacy, but also a solitude; silliness...
February 03, 2014
As someone who has not read a tremendous amount of poetry and has mixed feelings about it—some poems leave a strong impression on me, while others miss me by a long shot—I throughly enjoyed this collection. I'm a big James Baldwin fan, but have never read any of his poetry, so it pleased me when...
April 01, 2015
James Baldwin will never let you, or himself, or anyone else off the hook for anything, and he won’t let you do it either. You will be accountable. Jimmy’s Blues is a powerful reckoning as humane as it is uncompromising. I read it in one quick gulp in a coffee shop. I’m a pretty self-contained pe...
September 25, 2015
Poetry wasn't Baldwin's genre and some of the lines lie a bit flat on the page. Baldwin had an affinity for rhyme and rhythms that feel pretty conventional, but at times I found myself hearing the music behind the page: Clyde McPhatter, C.L. Franklin, Dorothy Love Coates, Mahalia. Readers familia...