On Hearing an Old Disc Featuring Singer Jean Ritchie

We're catching here her blue-eyed sound,

her moist Kentucky old-world tones

lost in the melodic past....

But what's this?

Her voice is changing character -

becoming a gentle ghost

to haunt her blue, to shed the scent

of another hope, another age.

"Let the sun shine down on me!"

The song

learns windows on her tongue - as if

sudden a bird in a noon-lit room

finds freedom from its cage - as if

unaccountably

from lip to lip distilled

those words flow to her down the folk-sung years....

The wood thrush in her echoes now in us:

the yearning on this disc is being fulfilled.

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