For the third week of our National Poetry Month showcase, Frank X Walker shares the poem "Ambiguity Over the Confederate Flag" from his book, TURN ME LOOSE (2013, pg. 4).
Ambiguity Over the Confederate FlagIn the old south life was full of workwe would sit on the veranda from sunup to sundownlook out over the horizon at nothing but fields of cottonthe young childrenwho happily played behind tried to pick their own weightwhile their mothers by age 13 filled 500 lb sackssang rapturous spirituals and lived the bluesthose were good ol' days for plantation ownersnot having to use the whip sharecropping and extending debtwas more civilized was almost more profitablethan slavery
About the Poem
This poem is a contrapuntal that can be read three different ways. It sets the stage for the dialogue that occurs throughout the book and reflects the intentional structure of the book that is reflected in the oppositional dynamics of the two songs "Dixie" and "Strange Fruit."
About the Poet
Frank X Walker is the 2013-2014 poet laureate of Kentucky. He is an associate professor of English at the University of Kentucky and the editor of Pluck! The Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture. A Lannan Literary Fellowship for Poetry recipient, he is the author of five collections of poetry, including Buffalo Dance: The Journey of York, which won the Lillian Smith Book Award, and Isaac Murphy: I Dedicate This Ride.
For more information about National Poetry month, visit www.poets.org. For more poetry from the UGA Press, visit the poetry section of our website here.