The Sacrament of Remembrance: Southern Agrarian Poet Donald Davidson and His Past

ACCESS PURCHASE
Students and scholars can access articles for free via Project Muse.

The Sacrament of Remembrance: Southern Agrarian Poet Donald Davidson and His Past

by Paul V. Murphy
Southern Cultures, Vol. 2, No. 1: Fall 1995

"For us, the long remembering / Of all our hearts have better known." —Donald Davidson

Donald Davidson, a southern poet and leader of the Southern Agrarians, a group of antimodernists who opposed industrial capitalism, conceived of social memory as a “folk-chain,” which binds a people together. The folk-chain transmits tradition, which, Davidson declared, tells southerners “who we are, where we are, where we belong, what we live by, what we live for.” Moreover, one person teaching another extends the folk-chain: “What passes from memory to memory, without benefit of the historian’s record, is as old in time as the memories that it expresses, and if it is accepted it endures as long as the land and people that accept it.”