Now this here rag is the one they used to call
the lost rag.
Sort of thing everybody knew and nobody ever bothered
to write down.
It was just a few licks, something you'd sit and play
when there was nobody else around. Maybe it was
some old man
showed you how to play it, a long time ago. You turn off
I'm going to play it for you now. I said
turn it off.
From After the Rain. First published in The Harbor Review.
Photograph below: James P. Johnson (1894-1955) , American pianist and composer ('The Charleston') . A major proponent of 1920s stride piano style, he is one of the two most important figures - the other is Jelly Roll Morton - in the transition from ragtime to jazz.
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.I would like to translate this poem