Jesse Stuart’s MAN WITH A BULL-TONGUE PLOW is a book of regional and personal poetry come freely from the heart of its author, a book by a man informed with great natural wisdom and one on intimate terms with life close to the land.
I am a farmer singing at the plowAnd as I take my time to plow alongA steep Kentucky hill, I sing my song—A one-horse farmer singing at the plow.
Thus he describes himself, introduces himself to the reader in the opening lines of this book of 703 sonnets which, taken together, tell not only Stuart’s own story, but the story of the hill country of eastern Kentucky, past and present, people among whom Stuart grew up and still lives.
These are poems written without artifice, and Jesse Stuart speaks the literal truth when he writes lines like these:
I do not sing the songs you love to hear;My basket songs are woven from thewordsOf corn and crickets, trees and men andbirds.I sing the strains I know and love tosing.And I can sing my lays like singing
(The entire section is 1322 words.)
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