Idiom and Assimilation: Miles Davis & C.D. Wright

John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Miles Davis, and Bill Evans, recording in 1958

If there is any particular affinity I have for poetry associated with the South, it is with idiom. I credit hill people and African Americans for keeping the language distinct. Poetry should repulse assimilation. Each poet’s task is to fight their own language’s assimilation. Miles Davis said, “The symphony, man, they got seventy guys all playing one note.” He also said, “Those dark Arkansas roads, that is the sound I am after.” He had his own sound. He recommended we get ours.
      – C.D. Wright, Cooling Time: An American Poetry Vigil

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