Sunday, 19 November 2006

Poem to Woody

Poem to Woody

Out of vibrant Okemah
You bounded precocious and unconventional
Profoundly touched by Claras' death
a keen observer of Oklahoma surrounds

You went through the decline of
your influential mother
hastened by financial ruin
creating a permanent rambler
a projector of wry humour

Pampa, Corn Cob trio and Mary Jannings
then followed
all lost to the Great Dust storm
poor refugee ' Okies' moving west

Freight train hoboing, hitch-hiking ,walking
to meet with Californians' parochialism
feelings expressed in ballads and radio broadcasts
as self-promoted lifelong " outsider"

The rambler inside takes you
to "The Big Apple"
the left branding and embracing you
for your "authenticity"

Leadbelly, Houston , Ives ,Seeger
Will Geer, Sonny Terry , Brownie McGhee
Singing songs of Protest
Songs of Freedom
And for what you believed in

Lomax ,Moses Asch,Folkways
performances with
the Almanac Singers,The legendary Weavers
establishing against the stream
folk music as commercially viable

Proud Noble Gifted Woody

Peter Burton August 2006

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