Amata Hinkle, Steven Gaffin, Tricia Spiliotis




Amata Hinkle, Steven Gaffin, Tricia Spiliotis

Verse 25

Dazzling and tremendous how quick the sun-rise would kill me,
If I could not now and always send sun-rise out of me.
We also ascend dazzling and tremendous as the sun,
We found our own O my soul in the calm and cool of the day- break.
My voice goes after what my eyes cannot reach,
With the twirl of my tongue I encompass worlds and volumes of worlds.
Speech is the twin of my vision, it is unequal to measure itself,
It provokes me forever, it says sarcastically,
Walt you contain enough, why don't you let it out then?
Come now I will not be tantalized, you conceive too much of articulation,
Do you not know O speech how the buds beneath you are folded?
Waiting in gloom, protected by frost,
The dirt receding before my prophetical screams,
I underlying causes to balance them at last,
My knowledge my live parts, it keeping tally with the meaning of all things,
Happiness, (which whoever hears me let him or her set out in search of this day.)
My final merit I refuse you, I refuse putting from me what I really am,
Encompass worlds, but never try to encompass me,
I crowd your sleekest and best by simply looking toward you.
Writing and talk do not prove me,
I carry the plenum of proof and every thing else in my face,
With the hush of my lips I wholly confound the skeptic.
Textual Analysis
Section 24 ended with the poet beholding the “day-break,” discerning the faint “libidinous prongs” of light that were beginning to penetrate the darkness and bring light and perception once again. Who knows, at the dawn of every day, what the day will bring? Now, in Section 25, he confronts the actual ...
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Textual Analysis


We’ve been up in airplanes, we’ve been in and on the water, we’ve been all over Alabama, mostly traveling the roads, places above ground, and at some point I started wondering, “What are parts of Alabama that are less obvious, parts we don’t see every day?”

That got me thinking about caves, and then we learned about the Huntsville Cave Rescue Unit. HCRU volunteers Amata Hinkle, Steven Gaffin, and Tricia Spiliotis all agreed to meet with us at Limrock Blowing Cave to read for this project.

In the cave, everyone had their headlamps and flashlights on, and we’re seeing rock formations, and stalagmites or stalactites, and even little critters -- a little frog, a centipede, a translucent-looking crawfish. You begin to see the shape of things, the character of such a space. But then you can not see. When you turn off all artificial light sources, headlamps and flashlights, there’s complete darkness -- not an ounce of light. How often do we find ourselves in utter blackness? Senses shift and you begin to hear more strongly, realize you want to touch things to understand how to situate yourself. Sounds become more important, seemingly louder and interesting -- the echoes and the reverberations, the trickling water and sounds of footsteps or fingers against rock trying to feel your way with your other senses. Very cool.

These underground worlds are “hidden” yet alive -- they exist and have their form and character and presence and inhabitants whether we realize it or not. And they’re entirely invisible, literally, to the naked eye, unless we bring something artificial down there to help us see.

For the volunteers that make up the cave rescue team, caves are spaces they work hard to understand and to exist confidently in. They have rich, deep knowledge of how to navigate, work and be in cave systems. And thank goodness because for people who go caving and exploring, whether professional or people just doing it for fun, accidents happen. People get in trouble, and it’s good to know there is a crew that exists for that.

By filmmaker Jennifer Crandall, as told to writer Liz Hildreth

Volunteers Amata Hinkle, Steven Gaffin, and Tricia Spiliotis & members of the Huntsville Cave Rescue Unit Recite Poetry in Limrock Blowing Cave