Jazz History In 1920

1717 Words7 Pages
Jazz Poetry in the 1920's

Jazz Poetry can be defined as poetry that demonstrates jazz-like rhythm or the feeling of

improvisation. During the 1920's many poets began to experiment with the conventional forms of

writing with rhythm which led to the invention of Jazz Poetry. Poetry and Jazz seemed to both

evolve into each other which led to the merge that became known as "Jazz Poetry". Jazz poetry has

been an unorthodox style of writing since it was invented in the 1920's. The reason it has been

considered out of the mainstream is that it was invented by African American artists in the 1920's

when segregation had not ended long ago. There were still Jim Crowe laws in effect when this

evolution was occurring. There was also a Renaissance occurring with this evolution called the

Harlem Renaissance. This time in American History could be described as "HOT NIGHTS and cool

jazz.... steamy sidewalks and fancy dressers... songs of the soul and songs of the body...the lilt of

gentle laughter and the penetrating wail of the blues..." Harlem was the home of many African

American poets and musicians which was the perfect breeding grounds for creating jazz poetry.

Harlem is a community in New York that lies in the northern half of the boroughs of Manhattan.

Some of the earliest poets simply referred to jazz in their poetry. Although these earliest poets were

coined as jazz poets there were not "True Jazz Poets". The poets who only referred to jazz in their

poems were called Jazz-Related Poets. Jazz poets would have to create a rhythm and imitates jazz in

its words and delivery. There were many different artists that had huge impacts on jazz poetry

including one of the most famous; Louis Armstrong. It was said that Armstrong is the best Jazz

musician to ever had lived. Louis Armstrong influenced many jazz poets such as Mina Loy, and

Langston Hughes. Langston Hughes is considered the founder of the Jazz Poetry genre since no

artist before him could merge jazz and poetry together as he did. Hughes was born on February 1,

1902 in Joplin Missouri. He began writing poetry in the eighth grade and was elected the class poet.

He was encouraged by his father to pursue a more practical career and attended college for a short

amount of time but continued to write poetry. Luckily for the artistic community he decided to drop

More about Jazz History In 1920

Get Access