Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Tribute to Jack White

I'm a big Jack White fan. I love the man's creativity and musical ability. His shows constantly sell out, and when they don't, scalpers buy up the tickets and resell them for hundreds of dollars making it impossible to get one. Nevertheless, I still want to see him live one day. I play Blunderbuss all the time along with the Cold Mountain soundtrack. As a writer, I've written many things: articles, screenplays, flash fiction, and lots and lots of poetry. One poem is even based on Ada and Inman, characters from Charles Frazier's novel Cold Mountain and I even got permission from Third Man Records to use the music from Wayfaring Stranger to accompany the piece if I ever read it aloud at a poetry reading, which I haven't done YET! Earlier this year, I wrote another poem based on Jack's version of Great High Mountain, another piece from the Cold Mountain soundtrack. Like a giddy 14-year-old with a Justin Bieber crush, I mailed it to TMR as a donation. It may have ended up in the trash as far as I know, but what the hell. Here is the poem, hope you like it.

My Great High Mountain
(inspired by the song “Great High Mountain
written by Ralph Stanley and sung by Jack White)
by Sherry Perkins

What is the mountain Jack White sings of in a song called “Great High Mountain,” the one he desperately longs to climb? The same one he falls down on his knees in front of and cries out, “Lord, what must I do?”
In his song, the mountain could be a representation of life. 
(“The higher I got, the harder I climbed.”)
Yes, for some, it could be life in general.
But...what about those of us who think outside the box?
For me, since I’m the only one I can truly speak for, the mountain represents...
 expression, creativity, writing, publishing.
You see, I’ve always been a deep thinker, a hard feeler, and I’ve always known that I’m good at something.  We’re all good at something.
Am I a good writer?  I’d like to think so.
After all, nobody can write exactly like me, nor can I write like others.
I don’t want to.  I’m not them, they’re not me.

Furthermore, who is the “sweet voice” he hears from “the top of the mountain?”
Is it God saying “...put your hand in mine?” 
Whoever is speaking in his story, God, an angel, the voice gives him courage.
Yet, in my story, the voice is always me.  It’s my inner strength when all seems lost and there’s nowhere to go but up.  It’s my grit, my guts, my voice urging me higher and higher up my mountain of expression and creativity.

          So what, if no one gets it. So what, if my words are too plain for plain people. Who cares if my country slang clouds the meanings? I don’t need your permission or validation to express myself, to climb my great high mountain.

Expression, creativity, writing...inspirations come from everywhere, they come from nowhere.  Don’t be afraid to climb your mountain whatever it represents for you. 
Because when you reach the top, and you will, it will all have been worth it.

January 27, 2012


  1. GREAT thoughts Sherry. No one really understands what goes on in a writer's head but another writer. I have a story about a man pursuing a mountaintop that I need to finish and send to Pam. i think it might be good for her magazine. Really, REALLY appreciate the review on Amazon for BLOOD BIAS. Made my day. Happy writing

    1. Thanks for the comment, James. Really appreciate your time and glad you saw the review on Amazon. Loved the book!