Campus News

Poetry collection offers ‘suite’ choices

The Infinity Sessions
T.R. Hummer
Louisiana State University Press

T.R. Hummer is almost as well known for his devotion to jazz and the blues as he is for his ­poetry.

The Georgia Review editor and UGA creative writing professor also is an accomplished saxophonist.

It therefore makes perfect sense that the poems in his collection, The Infinity Sessions, are not only seasoned with musical references and named with song titles, but are also organized in a series of musical suites, which are named in homage to the greats.

Poems are categorized under such headings as “Rain Down Rain: Suite for Mabel Louise ‘Big Maybelle’ Smith, 1924-1972” and “Medicine for a Nightmare: Suite for Sun Ra (Herman Poole ‘Sonny’ Blount). 1914-1993.” After the suites comes a series of poems under the heading of “The Chaos Remasterings: In Memoriam Robert Olive, citizen, musician, brother, 1952-2002,” and one under “Lives of the Angels: Duets for Saxophone and Sky.”

The titular poem imagines a ghostly jam session in an otherworldly recording studio: “Enter the souls . . . In the darkness, without a sound,/ The relays close; the tape slips by . . . note by note, take by take, their lyrical/ Stumbling fattens the vault of heaven.”