Ray Charles (1930-2004)

Ray Charles (1930-2004)

From the opening lines of “Kaddish“:

“Strange now to think of you, gone without corsets & eyes, while I walk on the sunny pavement of Greenwich Village./downtown Manhattan, clear winter noon, and I’ve been up all night, talking, talking, reading the Kaddish aloud, listening to Ray Charles blues shout blind on the phonograph”

Allen (from an interview with NPR’s Terry Gross.1994):

The whole rhythm of the poem has a kind of combination of  Ray Charles’  “I Got A Woman” – “Yes indeed, yes indeed, yes indeed”  (which I’d been hearing the morning before I wrote the poem) and a rhythm of the original Hebrew Kaddish that was still running through my mind and body.

Ray Charles born September 23, 1930 in Albany Georgia would’ve been 90 years old today!

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