The poet's foreword says he began all this on one fine day. It must have been finer than morning in an adjacent state by the looks of the result. What a sweep What a breadth What a memory Who's left out here? Nobody I know. Virginia is 475 miles long but averages half that, which means here we have about one page per mile of her right across. He cautions that a reading voice with the proper pronunciation of "Hanover" and "Henrico" is advisable.
THE POLECAT PRIZE
RAN OFF ALL OTHERS
Some versifier came and sowed
many a thunderation ode.
This got the Golden Polecat Prize,
the one that draws the market flies,
awarding a chief excellence
that chases all the others hence;
puts to shame and in the shade
the Armadillo Accolade,
and that eternal charnel foist
so-called the yearly critics' choist.
It strands our thunderation moot
what's really worth a second hoot.
For some 'twill always be roast beef,
but, after that, Virginia leaf.
About the Author
Edward Wright Haile is a poet, historian, cartographer, translator, musician (flute), carpenter, sailor, and land surveyor. As author and editor he has produced Jamestown Narratives, the definitive collection of firsthand accounts of England’s colony in the first decade, as well as two historical maps: "Virginia Discovered and Discribed" and "England in America"; and three books of poetry, the latest being the Jamestown “epic” Where None Before Hath Stood. His translation of the Oresteia of Aeschylus was pronounced “a work of energy and genius” by Ladislaus Bolchazy of The Classical Bulletin. A native Virginian born in Washington, D.C. in 1943, Ed was graduated a bachelor of music from The Catholic University in 1975. He lives with his wife, Bess, in Essex County, Virginia, and has two sons.
“Stories, legends, sayings, traditions—Virginiana all in the most diversified verse forms I have ever encountered. Definitely our portrait in the parlor. Enjoyed it cover to cover.”
~ Richard Cheatham, director, Living History Associates
“What an ear for music! And the sheer variety of poetic feeling, from laughter to tears, with invention on every page. The three sections, so different, somehow fit like masonry.”
~ Connie Lapallo, author of "When the Moon Has No More Silver"
“This is a treasure trove for lovers of Virginia and lovers of poetry. It’s going to be a classic.”
~ Mark Greenough, Historian of the Capitol