Atlanta poet Kevin Young pens a poem to Prince in New Yorker magazine

It’s been 17 days since he’s been gone, but Prince is still getting tributes from his legion of fans.

February 8, 2016 Atlanta: Atlanta poet and Emory professor Kevin Young, shown at Ticonderoga Club in the Krog Street Market has published nine books including "Blue Laws: Selected and Uncollected Poems, 1995-2015." Ben Gray / bgray@ajc.com

February 8, 2016 Atlanta: Atlanta poet and Emory professor Kevin Young, shown at Ticonderoga Club in the Krog Street Market has published nine books including “Blue Laws: Selected and Uncollected Poems, 1995-2015.” Ben Gray / bgray@ajc.com

One of the latest contributions comes from Atlanta’s own Kevin Young. The Decatur-based poet and Emory professor penned a poem  appearing in the New Yorker magazine today.

Related: Decatur poet Kevin Young discusses his new collection, “Blue Laws”

Young, known for deftly weaving musical references into his words, opens with:

“Nothing passed us by. Baby,

you’re much too fast. In 1990

we had us an early 80s party—

nostalgic already,”

Prince died on April 21 and his affairs have since fallen into chaos as authorities try to sort out exactly how he died  as well as how to divide his $300 million in assets among six known heirs. The artist does not appear to have left a will.

Related: Read the AJC’s full coverage of Prince’s death

In February, Young spoke with the AJC about his love of music, which he says is a central element of his work. He listens to music as he writes and has at least 35,000 songs at the ready on iTunes.

“I feel music is another kind of literature,” Young told AJC reporter Jeremy Redmon during the interview. “It is another way of talking about pain and love. Great music — say jazz — has that inventive, improvisational quality that tells us something about life. I think it is Ralph Ellison who said life is jazz-shaped. And that kind of idea — that jazz really mirrors the way we live — is important to me.”

Young’s love of Prince’s music in particular was clear the day the musician died as Young (along with almost everyone else in the world) devoted his Twitter feed to tweets and retweets only about Prince…

 

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2 comments
Jay M Samy
Jay M Samy

How come AJC missed it in the first place? It would be good for ajc if they noticed it and published it. Great poem about great talent. Awesome. Let's stick with just using his talents as role model.