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Poetry and Music Review of Caroline Herring's Golden Apples of the Sun

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Caroline Herring’s newest album

It is amazing what one can do with just an acoustic guitar, one accompanist and your voice, especially if your name is Caroline Herring, well-known country and folk singer/songwriting daughter of Mississippi, who published her first album, Twilight, in 2001 and has now just released her fifth, Golden Apples of the Sun, five being, as I will explain later, quite an appropriate number for such a title and album.

Mississippi means many things to many people, Old South, segregation, the Big River, Magnolia State, college football, not to mention Mark Twain, George Ohr and Walter Anderson, three of the state's greatest artists. And that is where the thread picks up with Caroline Herring, who deeply shares the love of Nature that possessed Anderson and inspired his own creativity. What is more, she expresses this love on two fronts, poetically and musically, both of which she is adept at.

In fact, her first song, Tales of the Islander, is a tribute to Walter Anderson, the famous painter, writer, and naturalist from New Orleans who finally settled in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, just west of Pascagoula, and whose bayous I coincidently was trudging through back in 2007 as I investigated Katrina's damage, damage that extended to many of Anderson's works, although much of it has been restored. Anderson was an eccentric icon in Ocean Springs, not unlike the Mad Potter, George Ohr, in Biloxi. Both left huge legacies for their respective cities.

Anderson, however, was a living embodiment of Twain's Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer combined, who used to regularly hop in a rowboat riggable with a sail and navigate to nearby Horn Island, where he absorbed himself in Nature to produce fascinating works of art, such as these:

CLICK HERE (permanent museum collection)

Tales of the Islander, with its steady and intricate, hypnotic guitar rhythm, becomes an invitation to you and I to join Caroline in a mystical raft float, a la Walter, Huck and Tom, down the Mississippi River against the canvas of the majesty of its wildlife and the sun, moon and stars. The lyrics are exceptional and strikingly poetic, to note one stanza:

A full moon rising

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On all of nature's powers

Stars just observers

Of zinnias and moonflowers

We could bathe in the nullah of a gulf stream

Prowl like cats in the night

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Then transform like moths

In a chrysalis of light

Chrysalis of light

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I am a student of history, religion, exoteric and esoteric, the Humanities in general and a tempered advocate for the ultimate manifestation of peace, justice and the unity of humankind through self-realization and mutual respect, although I am not (more...)

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