Springfield Soliloquy--TRAIL OF TEARS--Missouri
Wanda Sue Parrott guided each guest at the powwow on a “Last Indian on the Trail of Tears” visualization exercise along the terrain pictured on the cover of her historic out-of-print poetry book that became a literary marker on the Trail of Tears when the City of Springfield took possession of the Missouri property about which it was written.
Although there are no official records dating back to the time poets first began receiving compensation for their poems, Wanda is willing to bet the $91,000 she received from the city constitutes a world record for the most money earned by a living poet--including William "The Bard" Shakespeare--for a single poem. She is on record as officially winning her long, costly literary campaign for poetic justice by giving the house-office keys to the city on February 2, 2009, a date she calls Weeping Waters Day.
Weeping Waters Day marks the end of a long, legal, literal and literary campaign for settlement that officially began with the floods of July 2000. Wanda says, “I consider both sides won the stanzaic standoff because I ate a lot of my own out-of-pocket costs so City of Springfield could get a bargain, and I received $91,000 for 36 stanzas I believe constitute the highest-paying narrative poem in at least mankind's 12-million year history."
Wanda Sue Parrott summarizes the successful resolution of the Weeping Waters situation by saying, "Three words, all of which contain letters that spell poet, explain the trifold ending in which everyone came out a winner: Property, Poetry, Posterity. They are symbolized by the awards given in this Weeping Waters section:
Wanda Sue Parrott campaigned literarily by going public with her predicament, even through various versions of WHO’s WHO in which she is internationally represented as a modern-day Joan of Arc fighting for urban flood victims.
A motion picture company in Hollywood is considering production of a movie based on Wanda’s successful one-person literary stand against city hall, and reprinting her self-published book is an option under consideration.
She performed “Springfield Soliloquy--TRAIL OF TEARS--Missouri” readings at poetry conventions, in libraries and on street corners, where it sold for $10 or whatever other price someone was willing to donate. She also promoted it by advertising the book on the internet, and by sharing copies with Native American organizations, including The Trail of Tears Association, of which she is a member. Income from sales helped with legal fees. If the book is reprinted, proceeds will be directed toward scholarship and literary awards to benefit Native Americans. A reprint of the poem in monograph form was available to powwow guests for $3, with proceeds earmarked for a Native American beneficiary.
At the powwow, participants imagined themselves as the last Indians on the Trail of Tears. Each paused to look back over territory already covered. Then, with a pebble in one‘s moccasin, the person turned around and moved onward along the symbolic never-ending trail of trials and errors on which each individual is both leader and laggard of his/her own pathway of life.
The cover photo used in the guided meditation is from an early 20th century postcard found in a flea market. The countryside is like that which the Trail of Tears crossed as it wound from Saint Louis through Springfield and on toward Oklahoma in March 1839.
Portions of the Trail of Tears poem were written through Wanda by an unidentified spirit of a young Native American she dubbed The Unknown Indian. Excerpts of some of his contributions appear elsewhere on this website under the POETRY link at the end of this page.
A signed hardcopy reprint with book cover and the full 36-stanza narrative poem in easy-to-read monograph form of "Springfield Soliloquy--TRAIL OF TEARS--Missouri"
is available for $3 plus $1 postage.
Please send check or money order payable to Wanda Sue Parrott to:
Amy Kitchener's Angels Without Wings Fdn.
Post Office Box 103
Monterey, CA 93940-0103
Please allow 4 weeks for delivery