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Posts tagged "The South"


Conceiving Advent Differently

As I stumble through the door of the fourth baby shower or “sprinkle” I have attended in the last two months, wobbling atop a pair of rarely worn pumps, my eyes dart immediately to the buffet. I survey the landscape and breathe a sigh of relief: there are mimosas. And pimento cheese. Praise Jesus. Five […]

Come Down to the Manger and See the Little Stranger

There’s one particularly ‘seasonal’ portion of A Mess of Help, and here it is (minus the copious footnotes). Longtime readers may recognize portions, but this is the published and much-expanded version, which comes in the book’s final chapter, track nine of “Sing Mockingbird Sing: The Alpha and Omega of Annotated Playlists”. Enjoy: I am quite […]

500 Miles from Bir-ming-ham: Umberto Eco and the New South

The New South aesthetic is farcical, but not irredeemably so.

Over pimento cheese fritters with bacon jam at a restaurant in South Georgia, I marveled at waiters in chambray shirts under plaid vests, distressed brick walls, and cocktail names like ‘rockin porch’. How, I wondered, had things down there come to such a pass? My companion, a Virginian who’d gone to a New England college, lightly objected to the rusty scythes and plows adorning the walls – wasn’t this a bit much?

The farm tools were almost a New South parody, the chiks comin’ home to roost. To the Georgian, it seems,…

The Fiddler of Driskill Hill

This comes from Win Bassett.

Louisiana poet David Middleton’s new collection, The Fiddler of Driskill Hill, is out from Louisiana State University Press. A review from The Quarterly Conversation states

Middleton’s sensibility as poet and man is thoroughly Christian, Southern (or rather, Louisianan), and traditional, but he’s no unreconstructed romantic Rebel reliving the Civil War. His manner is meditative and elegiac, not rancorous or redneck. In a rare useful blurb on the back of the book, the North Carolina poet and novelist Fred Chappell describes Middleton’s work as “stately,” a quality more often associated with Milton than any contemporary poet.

item65306“Upon the Publication of a First Book of Poems”
The Burning Fields, LSU Press, 1991
 
To see them here brings humbleness, not pride,
Poems so well printed, jacketed, and then
Braced by comments made by generous men
Whose works my own could never stand beside.
Here also is that absence, black despair,
That stared from blank white spaces at my face
Until the courted muse released her grace
And words flowed into verses like a prayer.
 
Such moments of eternity-in-time
Confirm the Maker in each maker’s rhyme.

Read excerpts from more of Middleton’s poems in the collection here, and purchase his new book from here.

A Prayer for The Drive-By Truckers

Another stellar contribution from Emily Stubbs: In regard to Patterson Hood—front man for the Drive-By Truckers—my friend Graham recently said, “As far as I am concerned, he’s right up there with Rudyard Kipling.” In my humble opinion, and I think it is obvious that at least Graham would agree with me here, Patterson Hood is […]