Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON THE DEATH OF JAZZ, by JOHN KENDRICK BANGS



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ON THE DEATH OF JAZZ, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: They tell me jazz is dead
Last Line: And like some politicians dead, has not been buried yet.
Alternate Author Name(s): Hotair, Dopeton
Subject(s): Jazz; Music & Musicians


They tell me Jazz is dead,
Yet back inside my head
All sorts of jangled measures blare away,
And still the raucous razz
Of Jazz-Jazz-Jazz
As noisily as ever holds its sway.
I find it everywhere:
On the earth and in the air,
A-whirling o'er the countryside, and plunging in the sea,
No matter what the time of day, or where I chance to be,
In winter-time, in summer-time, in spring or autumn fair,
The jingle-jangle jiggling Jazz is ever, ever there.

I find it in the verse
The Poets Free rehearse,
All thrilling with the trilling of the gaz-gaz-gaz
Of the Masters and Pilasters of pure Jazz.
I find it in the talk
Of those who ride or walk,
In drawing-room, and attic, and below.

I find it in the capers
Of the Bolshevistic papers,
And in the Oratory of the After-Dinner glow.
You'll find it if you seek it in the painting of the hour
With the figure of a Zebra as the model for a flower,
And the spilling of a paint-pot with no line to it at all
Doing duty as a picture of a Spanish Carnival.
You'll find it in the Pulpit, and the Aldermen's debates,
As well as in the places where they rivet boilerplates,
And its cackle without shackle maunders jazzily along
In an endless masquerading as a substitute for song.
Whence I'm forced to the conclusion that, if as the papers say,
Old Jazz has gone to glory in the usual human way,
'Tis quite the livest corpse that mankind has ever met,
And like some Politicians dead, has not been buried yet.





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