Nina's Blues

By Cornelius Eady b. 1954 Cornelius Eady
Your body, hard vowels
In a soft dress, is still.

What you can't know
is that after you died
All the black poets
In New York City
Took a deep breath,
And breathed you out;
Dark corners of small clubs,
The silence you left twitching

On the floors of the gigs
You turned your back on,
The balled-up fists of notes
Flung, angry from a keyboard.

You won't be able to hear us
Try to etch what rose
Off your eyes, from your throat.

Out you bleed, not as sweet, or sweaty,
Through our dark fingertips.
We drum rest
We drum thank you
We drum stay.

Cornelius Eady, "Nina's Blues," from Hardheaded Weather: New and Selected Poems, published by Putnam. Copyright 2008 by Cornelius Eady. Reprinted by permission of the author.

Source: Hardheaded Weather: New and Selected Poems (Putnam, 2008)

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Poet Cornelius Eady b. 1954

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Music, History & Politics, Social Commentaries, Race & Ethnicity, War & Conflict, Arts & Sciences

Poetic Terms Elegy

 Cornelius  Eady

Biography

Poet and cofounder of Cave Canem, Cornelius Eady has published more than half a dozen volumes of poetry, among them Victims of the Latest Dance Craze (1985), winner of the Lamont Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets; The Gathering of My Name (1991), nominated for a Pulitzer Prize; and Brutal Imagination (2001), a National Book Award finalist. Hardheaded Weather: New and Selected Poems appeared in 2008.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Music, History & Politics, Social Commentaries, Race & Ethnicity, War & Conflict, Arts & Sciences

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Elegy

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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