Wednesday, May 03, 2006
The Voice of Zora, a Voice of Us
THIS SEMESTER, I'M WORKING ON a critical paper analyzing poetic text vs. poetic performance. The audio and video footage have repeatedly led me outside of 'poetry' and deeper inside myself.
Namely, I discovered that, of the many things I love about the South, what I love perhaps most is its sound: the slow crunch of a visitor's tires approaching down a dirt driveway; the electric whining of cicadas in the whiteness of August; the dark percussion of stomping heels moving an old Baptist church.
But among all of these sounds, what I love most are the voices of our people - from the Cajuns to the Geechees, from the Appalachians to the Low Country. These vibrations are the soul of what the South is.
In honor of these sounds, I'd like to share an aural treasure I stumbled across in my research - the voice of one who embodies what moves me about this place, who reminds me why I could never leave this place - or, at least, why it will never leave me. It is filled with the rocking of my Great Aunt Goldie weaving stories on her screened-in porch in Midland - the voice of north Florida's contribution to the Harlem Renaissance, Zora Neale Hurston.