Elegy for the Southern Drawl
By Rodney Jones
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780395956168, 112pp.)
Publication Date: March 1999
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
Categories: American - General
A bawdy, witty revelation by an award-winning poet who celebrates the soul of the South in jest and in elegy. Exulting in the drawl of his native Alabama, Rodney Jones's poems play out the life cycle of the young southern white male, from high school football games to first debauchery, from ignorance to self-understanding. Other poems speak of laying sewer pipe, of crows and sex, ink and raccoons, penises and perpetual motion machines. In many of these poems the southern drawl lives forever, riding on the tide of regional language, poking fun yet delighting in it. Jones dedicates other poems to poetry readings and English departments, to William Matthews, to Isaac Bashevis Singer, and to William Carlos Williams. His poems burst with wit, robust experience, and earthy intelligence. Awarded the AWP writing prize by Elizabeth Bishop and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, Rodney Jones is one of the most original poets in America.
Rodney Jones, born in Alabama, is a professor of English at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and a National Book Critics Circle Award winner. Salvation Blues received the 2006 Kingsley Tufts Award.
"Rodney Jones, in my view, is one of the two or, at most, three best poets of his generation. He is a true poet of his own culture. He is brilliant, wise, deeply sane, incredibly knowledgeable about the craft, tender, moving, honest, and--pure. I love reading him. He gives me hope for poetry." -- Gerald Stern, Winner of the National Book Award for Poetry, 1998
"A brand-new, world-class poet." National Book Critics Circle