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The Ways We Touch -- Miller Williams

Guest poem submitted by Rachael Shaw:
(Poem #1855) The Ways We Touch
 Have compassion for everyone you meet,
 even if they don't want it.
 What appears bad manners, an ill temper or cynicism
 is always a sign of things no ears have heard,
 no eyes have seen.
 You do not know what wars are going on down there where the spirit meets
the bone.
-- Miller Williams
I have recently moved to Nashville, Tennessee - the home of country music. I
was fortunate on my first night in town to see a rare performance by
singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams and her father, poet Miller Williams
called 'Poetry Said, Poetry Sung'. Miller Williams recited a poem and
Lucinda picked a song to play that would fit the poem her dad had just read.

His poems really spoke to me and I went to the library the following day to
look for his work. On reading a few poems from 'Points of Departure' and
'Some Jazz a While', I was disappointed that the poems did not have such an
impact on me as they did when they were spoken by Miller the night before. I
fear this may happen with readers as well so I ask that you imagine an old,
grey man of slight stature and big glasses, whose body rocks when he laughs
and whose voice crackles when he talks ever so slowly. A man who knows of
struggle and loss. At one point during the show Lucinda said "Takes me
longer to say in a song what dad can do in a few lines." I think this is so
very true. For me, 'The Ways We Touch' was made to be spoken.

To experience Miller Williams, click on this videolink:
  [broken link]
Miller was chosen to read a poem at Bill Clinton's innaugauration in 1997
('Of History and Hope').


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