"Poor God," writes poet Kevin Young, "people everywhere/ swearing to you all day." Throughout his volume Dear Darkness, Young adopts blues persona and ends up talking about the pains of loss in artful ways.
Lately, given all the solemn and scary news about unemployment and the economy, I've tried to figure out the degrees to which modern black poets address these kinds of tough, everyday issues.
For Young and several other writers, poems that contain the sensibilities of the blues offer opportunities to convey serious experiences in sometimes humorous ways. Others draw on the blues to really accentuate senses of hurt and anger.
We'll see if we can draw some connections between what modern poets are writing and what the nation is experiencing. We'll share what we find. If you have leads, do drop us a line and let us know.