Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Folk Music


Folk Music

Some strumming sums up sundown,
down on the brown bank by a riverside--
be it banjo, guitar, mandolin--or
some kind of eerie zephyr overloaded
with the recently departed. "How did it
get started--this music?" Good question.
Save it for later. Now we must listen
to thump, pluck, and twang, above which
is sung a rough, melodious tale. The song
roots us to a plowed heritage, a furrowed
alluvial communal pain, a bedecked extravagance
of crops, and fatal work. Yes, we must drop
what we're thinking and listen for and under
a spell, hear harmonies swell against apron,
shack-wall, levee, and archive. The instruments
are made of wood. So are the trees. The songs
are made of air. So is the wind. The people
are made of memories. So are the songs,
the folks' songs.

Copyright 2008 Hans Ostrom
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