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Upon reading the works of Henry Dumas one is overwhelmed by the complex simplicity of his style. On the surface his style evokes, through language, a deep feeling of down-home living. His is the language of Arkansas and Mississippi, the Gullah of South Carolina, and the hip talk of N.Y.C. and other Afro-urban areas. Yet beneath all this "folk talk" lies a highly complex system of rhythmic philosophy. Take the poem "Son of Msippi":

I grew up, beside the prickly boll of white,  beside the bone-filled Mississippi  rolling on and on,  breaking over,  cutting off, ignoring my bleeding fingers.  Bare stalk and sun walk  I hear a boll-weevil talk  cause I grew  up ... 

Note how the formal English style fuses with Dumas's Mississippi dialect. Dumas evokes music, plays the spirits, and beats the drum of the Black historical/folkloric tradition into a tune deeply rooted in his culture yet uniquely his.