Saturday, August 6, 2016

Morning in Berea

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P.S.  I will search for the credits and links to the images that are currently missing those, and add them later.

Note that the images after the end of the verses and in the notes that follow are not directly related to Berea or Kentucky. They are related, instead, to a phrase (Crees and Cajuns) and a word (Appalachians) used in the verses.

Morning in Berea

Morning in Berea, Kentucky

Ah mountains, I have dreamed of ye,
that rose like isles from a feathered sea.
The distance clad your waves in blue,
and nearer ye were green in hue.

And when the mists rose up at morn,
that soul that now is mine was born
that keeps that treasure, in its heart,
revealed by sun and nature's art.
Those mountains, in my dreams, I see,
that rose like isles from a cloudy sea.
The distance draped their waves in blue,
and  nearer they were green in hue.


To Cecil, Deborah and Sharla I say,
"My thanks for the 'likes' that you gave me today,
  but Cecil had posted those mountains of blue—
and writing my verses was all I could do."

Early winter sky, Newfound Gap Road, by Kristina Plaas
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Sing to Me        ভোরের আশার গান

Morning Glory, Haywood County North Carolina

Noah (Bud) Ogle Homeplace, built late 1880's, Roaring Fork Motor Trail,
Great Smoky Mountains, 
by L.D. Coffey
LD Coffey Pics

View from Blue Ridge Parkway, autumn

So I thank you all kindly for the “likes” for the verse,
though my use of the "ye" made it worse. 
I have tried to rewrite it, so the gods will not smite it,
as I'm stuck with the scrivener's curse.

For the lines that I scribble--they often are drivel,
but at times they have sound and have sense.
So I'll scribble my drivel, but then I will quibble,
and erase and rewrite what I'd scribbled.

The lines that I write are written despite
what my reason might tell me is right,
for Ms. Muse is dictating, and I merely am writing,
and often not hearing her right.

But then she will tap me and gently correct me
or give me a slap and a scold.
And then I will grumble—but slowly or swiftly
I'll do as Ms. Muse might direct me.

When Cecil posts pictures of the blue Appalachians,
or those of ancestors of Crees or of Cajuns,
I feel in my heart then a singing and so
I type then that song as my drivel and go.
2016 August 6th, Sat.
Brooklyn, New York

Cree encampment

Cree boatwomen

Cree couple in front of tepee (tipi)

Souwangesheick and his squaws, Cree Indians

Cree man

Cree woman

Cree man

Cajun house and a tree, by Floyd Sonnier

Cajun cafe and a tree, by Floyd Sonnier

Back porch waltz, by Floyd Sonnier
La Boucherie Des Cajuns (the Cajuns' butcher shop/meat cooking?), by Floyd Sonnier

Cajun boy and girl in Mobile County, Alabama

James Carville, canny and vocal political consultant,
known as "the Ragin' Cajun".  He is from Louisiana, as
is quite evident from his speech, but  he may not be of
Cajun descent.

Acadian to Cajun


Notes on "Morning in Berea"
A) Connection to Berea, Kentucky
Mu Facebook friend Cecil has been living in Kentucky for a very long time.  I had first "met" him on Facebook via a cousin of mine, who had also been in Kentucky for a while, during and after her college years. She had followed another cousin to college in Berea, in eastern Kentucky (part of Appalachia).  She had subsequently lived for some years, deep in the wooded hills of Kentucky, in an isolated cottage not reachable then by road.  She had bravely lived there--without modern utilities and conveniences, while still enjoying the wilds.

Of course, other than the pictures of the mountains and some references to them in the verses, those who have actually lived in Berea or other parts of Kentucky might find little in this post that relates to their lives and experiences there.

Do feel free to add these and other things and thoughts in the comments, at the end of the post.
-- Arjun


B) Context for the verses

I was a latecomer to Facebook, but I have been spending a bit too much time on it lately--mostly "sharing" posts that I think merit this for various reasons, and also commenting on some posts, occasionally lapsing into verse in my comments.

Cecil had recently posted a picture of blue-green mountains, rising from the mist, taken in Berea, Kentucky.  Seeing it, I wrote the first two stanzas above--as a comment to his Facebook post. Subsequently, I added a third stanza, which was a repeat of the first, but with the archaic "ye" replaced.

Soon after, I wrote, in a follow-up comment,  some rhymed notes of thanks to Cecil and to some others who had read the verses and "liked" them on Facebook.  I also apologized for my acquired habit of fussing over my verses--by revisiting them and trying to "fix" them.

I have now combined those two versified Facebook comments and and have posted them together, here (above) at the Daily Poet blog, as "Morning in Berea". 
I  have included, at the start of the verses, that photograph of the mountains, taken from Berea, that Cecil had posted on Facebook. I have also added, after that, some more images from the Appalachians as well as some images pertaining to Amerindians. Both of these are often the subject of Cecil's Facebook posts.
C) Crees and Cajuns

I should note, however, that neither the Crees nor the Cajuns, whose faces, figures and dwellings are pictured here, were residents of the Applachians at the times of the photographs and sketches.  The Cree happen to be one of the largest surviving Amerindian tribes. They were found, in historical times, to be mainly living in the region from Lake Superior westwards. But most of the survivors are now stretched over Canada, with some Crees still left in Montana.

The Cajuns are mainly of "mixed blood"--as are we all, come to think of it. So it might not be correct to refer to them as "Amerindians." Indeed, they are mostly descended from French and other European settlers in Acadia, a French colony in northeastern North America, which later became part of eastern Canada and northern Maine (the most northeastern U.S. state).

The Acadians, who were mainly Catholics, faced persecution, imprisonment and deportation after British victories in the northeast.  Many fled south to Louisiana--at that time a Spanish colony.  Both while in Acadia and after resettling in Louisiana,  they intermarried with local Amerindians and others. Their common speech used to be, until quite recently, a distinct form of French.

But anyone who has tasted Cajun cuisine will note the influence of Amerindians and also perhaps of Africans.

D) Appalachians and Appalachia

I have used the term "Appalachians" here as shorthand for the "Appalachian Mountains".  The main spine of these mountains begins in eastern Canada.  It then runs roughly southwest along much of the eastern U.S., mostly parallel to the Atlantic coastline, and ends in the southeastern U.S. state of Alabama.

Long ago, when these mountains were younger, they were as high as the Rockies are now.  Over the eons, they have been weathered down to their current much lower heights.

The main spine of the Appalachian Mountains

Great Appalachian Valley

The term "Appalachian" may also be used to refer to a resident of Appalachia--a hilly region, with some distinct cultures, that spans part of the Appalachian mountain chain and runs from New York State through western parts of most of the mid-Atlantic states to areas in the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.  All of West Virginia is in Appalachia. The eastern parts of  Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee lie in the western section of this region.
Appalachian region of the United States

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