An Author's Assemblage: Brief Notes and Notices

The accumulation of posts to this web page serves merely as an author’s assemblage of brief notes and notices: the collection of informal bits of information, quotations, and observations gathered as one way to display a personal reflection of perceptions on poetry, publication, and related selections of material drawn from my perspectives as a poet or professor of literature and creative writing.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

William Matthews Identifies with Lester Young

“I have certain dopey identifications with Lester Young, it’s true. There’s a combination in Young of strong emotion, not so much concealed as released by diffidence, irony, and sweetness of tone, that doesn’t sound far off from certain textures in my poems, unless my ear is off.

“I’m a little more angular and boppy, being a child of a later age. But a sense of fellow feeling is strong. Young went into hiding more than Mingus’s temperament would have permitted him. Possibly Mingus is a better tutelary figure for a younger writer, who needs the courage of his brashness and anger. Maybe, then Young would serve a writer in his later years, when all the important confrontations are internal.” —From Sascha Feinstein’s interview of William Matthews in The Poetry Blues: Essays and Interviews (University of Michigan Press, 2001), edited by Sebastian Matthews and Stanley Plumly

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