Fiddling at Midnight’s Farmhouse

Fifteen years in the making, Fiddling at Midnight’s Farmhouse continues the adventures of a few characters in poems I included in Dancing at Big Vein, a small book published by Pocahontas Press in 1987. The poems are patterned a little like the poems in Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology.

All the poems are yarns, tall tales, ghost stories, retellings of family secrets, and even a few riddles of several families of characters–mostly fiddlers, waifs, workers, and lost souls. They live at or near a community I call Hackle Creek–not the creek in Missouri that shares the same name. As such, they are mostly fictional, with the exception of the introductory poem, “Buren Clyde Pendleton.” This poem is a tribute to my maternal grandfather who died in 1939 when my mother was six-years-old (fourteen years before I was born.) My aunt Violet said it was very accurate about his life and his joy in playing fiddle and calling barn dances.

My mom’s family lived on Jack’s Creek near Woolwine in Patrick County, Virginia. This place is the model of what I call Hackle Creek. I am not sure how wild or tame my Hackle Creek is; some of the characters who live there know, and a few deny they know.


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