“I am Appalachia. In my veins
Runs fierce mountain pride; the hill-fed streams
Of passion; and, stranger, you don’t know me!
…How can you find rapport with me –
You, who never stood in the bowels of hell,
Never felt a mountain shake and open its jaws
To partake of human sacrifice?…
You, who never stood on a high mountain,
Watching the sun unwind its spiral rays;
Who never searched the glens for wild flowers,
Never picked mayapples or black walnuts; never ran
Wildly through the woods in pure delight,
Nor dangled your feet in a lazy creek?
You, who never danced to wild sweet notes,
Outpouring of nimble-fingered fiddlers…
I am Appalachia; and, stranger,
Though you’ve studied me, you still don’t know.”
Read the entire poem at WV Encyclopedia.