“The City of Rivers” (Poem for Parsons)

September 24, 2012 |

FROM THE ARCHIVES of the West Virginia Writers’ Project, Tucker County:

             The City of Rivers


                             Here, where two rivers, born of highland springs,

                            Wed to beget another, greater still,

                            And where peace hovers on untroubled wings

                            Amidst the song of factory and mill,


                            Here, when this busy spot was but a dark,

                            Thick wilderness, (imagine it, who can!)

                            One far-gone morning came the cannon’s bark

                            As Garnett’s rear-guard faced McClellan’s van.


                            Then were these flashing waters for an hour

                            Not quite so clear, these forest not so free

                            From turmoil, as brave men gave up their dower

                            Of life to buy a truer liberty


                            For us who hold it in these richer years,

                            Remembering with gratitude and tears.

      -This poem was submitted as part of a report of Parsons by Gordon Shrader, who worked for the West Virginia Writers’ Project during the Great Depression and was good friends with the poet Karl Dewey Meyers. Myers was the first Poet Laureate of West Virginia.

    -Cindy Karelis discovered the poetry of Myers while researching the archived writing from the West Virgina Writers’ Project in 2011.

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