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Billie Holiday

I love you lady, singing velvet night sky, singing azure violet wounded woolen stitch. I love your lady quavering haunting cry, intoning shades of purple in fevered pitch. I love you lady, even trilling, scraping in torment, your voice straining oppressed about strange fruit. I love you lady dear star teaching your malcontent, piping broken lyrics, imparting pain so acute. I love you lady, you never knew a childhood, you never rendered a cyan song the same way. I love you lady, though you think my love no good, it is you with whom I walk in the rain, preternatural every day. Flame of Harlem, you gave so much to live. I listened, and I cried, always my cherished one, so tragic how young you died.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2020




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Date: 9/17/2021 5:04:00 PM
What a fine tribute you've penned. Billie Holiday had such a tragic life. There was pain in nearly every note she sang. A remarkable singer, + a fine piece to honor her. Cheers, Brian
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Thomas Wells
Date: 9/17/2021 11:48:00 PM
Thank you so much, Brian. I can't help but recall how she was hounded to her death by the FBI for singing the song "Strange Fruit," which dealt with lynchings. PAX!
Date: 7/20/2021 9:55:00 AM
I like the variance of the metrical feet in the last three lines. This poem reminds me of U2's "Angel of Harlem."
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Thomas Wells
Date: 7/20/2021 3:48:00 PM
I love "Angel of Harlem." I'm humbled by the comparison. Holiday was a genius of variation. Thanks, Rob!