Tooting on His Sideways Horn


In Memoriam

amiri baraka

Photo: T. Carrigan, via Flickr

Amiri Baraka died today, at seventy-nine; The Paris Review had the pleasure of publishing several of his poems. Baraka wrote “Pres Spoke a Language” to celebrate the jazz saxophonist Lester Young, but one could just as easily apply its eulogy to the poet himself:

had a language
and a life, like,
all his own,
but in the teeming whole of us he lived
tooting on his sideways horn

Read “Pres Spoke a Language” here.