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Mississippi Speaks

by Sandra Bounds

Mississippi is the voice of the Deep South.
Softly and sensuously,
she speaks with Southern drawl.

Listen with ears and hearts,
and “ya’ll” can hear her:

in the words of her writers,
Faulkner and Foote, Welty and Wright;

in the music of B. B. and Son,
Presley and Price and Pride;

in the song of her bird,
the mockingbird;

in the whisper of the river
that bears her name;

in the lap of waters
that caress the Gulf Coast;

in the purr of tractors that ready fields
for planting of beans, corn, cotton, and rice;

in the murmur of Spring’s warm winds
that tease dogwood and magnolia into bloom;

in the strength of her people
as they face devastation.

Let your spirit hear the voice of Mississippi
as she speaks with grace and warmth and hospitality.

Sandra Bounds was born in Mississippi and lives in Macon. She has a Master of Arts in English and has taught in both high school and community college. An active member of the Mississippi Poetry Society, she was its 2005 Poet of the Year, and the society published a chapbook of her poetry to honor that selection. She has won many awards in contests sponsored by the society and has been published in such journals as Art Gulf Coast,  The Lyric, The Road Not Taken, Sharing, The Well-Tempered Sonnet and Westward Quarterly.

Literary Friday
19 COMMENTS
  • Barbara Wilbur / September 8, 2012

    Sandra has masterfully captured the heart of Mississippi!!

  • beth / September 11, 2012

    Love this poem! The author does an excellent job reminding us of great people and things unique to Mississippi. Makes me proud to be from Mississippi!

  • Adelle / September 11, 2012

    Such a beautiful poem!! So talented! 🙂

  • will / September 11, 2012

    I rate this right up there with Charlie Pride’s roll on Mississippi! Enjoyed this poem!

  • Kullervo / September 14, 2012

    Phenomenal.

  • Callie / September 14, 2012

    This makes me so proud to be from Mississippi!

  • Mary Ann / September 14, 2012

    What a beautiful picture of our wonderful state!

  • Emily / September 15, 2012

    Beatifully written poem! I love that it lists the names of great Mississippians who have helped shape our state’s rich history, “y’all”!

  • Morgan Roberts / September 17, 2012

    Beautiful love of place! I love her too!

  • Mary Jo Franklin / September 18, 2012

    Sandra’s skillfully chosen words paint a beautiful portrait of the Mississippi landscape and the sweet dignity and indomitable spirit of its people. This is a lovely poem.

  • Penny Nichols / November 29, 2012

    I am just in the past month discovering the works of this writer and feel a deep kinship to her thoughts and words. I only wish I had half her talent!

  • Lisa Nichols / November 29, 2012

    This writer is so eloquent in expressing the beauty of poetry and a beautiful depiction of Mississippi. Absolutely beautiful.

  • Mary Lou Lake / November 29, 2012

    This poem thoroughly captures the essence of Mississippi. It is creative, inclusive, it evokes fond memories, it’s fun, and leaves me with a smile on my face. Thank you, a wonderful tribute to the state.

  • Shela Grieco / November 30, 2012

    This is why I am so comfortable and at home in my adopted state. I feel wrapped in luxury and this poem captures all the beauty of Mississippi (it’s even rhythmic to type it).

  • Wynne / December 3, 2012

    Congratulations on the Pushcart Prize nomination for this beautiful poem, from a fellow member of the Mississippi Poetry Society!

  • Emory D. Jones / December 4, 2012

    This poem reflects the Southern gentility that is Sandra Bounds. She is a wonderful lady and a wonderful poet.

  • Emory D. Jones / December 5, 2012

    Sandra is a superb poet.

  • Michele Hudnall / April 11, 2013

    Brings a smile to my face of many happy summer memories with my Aunt Sandra and Uncle Barry as the city girl experiencing farm life and the country in Mississippi, as well as many other Aunts, Uncles and dozens of cousins.

  • Jude / August 30, 2014

    Grace, warmth and hospitality!
    This poem is beautiful and captures the spirit of the people of the Magnolia State. Keep writing and sharing Sandra Bounds.

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