Here at Tweetspeak Poetry, we believe in the art of turning one direction into another. After all, that seems like the deepest possibility of poetry.
Nina Simone, who started in one direction—named Eunice Kathleen Waymon, daughter of a mother-preacher, classical-pianist hopeful—turned rejection into an astonishing career full of people and accolades and surprising music. Denied entrance by the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music, possibly due to ethnic bias (Nina thought so, and it seems probable), she went on to sing in clubs and bars and chose a new identity as Nina Simone. Eventually, she would make over 40 original albums and become a global bestseller.
She rarely traveled without an entourage, but if you were fortunate enough to get to know the woman behind the music you could glimpse the solitary soul that understood the pain of being misunderstood.
To take pain, to turn it, is an art. Listen to our playlist and see if you don’t agree.
Happy Birthday, Nina. You teach us the soul of poetry.
Nina Simone was born February 21, 1933.
Photo by Mosieur J., Creative Commons, via Flickr.