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'And find me in a hurricane'
By CARRIE PRATT
Published June 14, 2007
Reggie Eldridge, 23, reads his poetry to a crowd at the Calabash Cafe on a recent Thursday night. He wrote his first poem in the third grade but discovered a passion for performing the art about 18 months ago. Eldridge finds his inspiration from many places, including music, authors, current events and his own life. The story, in his words: The spoken word poetry that I participate in is a very living component of the oral tradition. It's a means to make sense of some very senseless facets of our existence. It is a beautiful art, and is important because it elicits an immediate reaction from the audience. This poem was inspired by an Africana studies class where a professor brought up the belief that hurricanes are the souls of slaves returning on the paths to wreak havoc on the new world. I wrote it a few years ago when the hurricanes were hitting the Tampa Bay area. A stanza from, Hurricane: And if it means I die tonight / for black redemption because the plight / of my own past has proved too strong / to keep me here with you for long, / next year I beg you, watch the rain, / and find me in a hurricane.