Friday, June 3, 2016

Friday Poem

Art and Environment
Edward Hessler

Poet and author James Harrison died in March this year. This master poet...master writer...master human was 78 years old. I learned about a poem I'd never read in a piece about the many (many) facets of Mr. Harrison by John McIntyre for Poetry Magazine (True Bones).

I didn't expect to find this poem since he has written so many--several hundred--but I finally found it on several blogs. I'm glad I looked because it led to a recent interview about what books have meant to Minnesota author Louise Erdrich in the New York Times.

By PrimaEvera (Own work)
[CC BY-SA 4.0
via Wikimedia Commons
In response to a question about her favorite poem she said "I covered the vinyl walls around my soaking bathtub with poems written in permanent marker--- James Harrison's 'Counting Birds' is my favorite. His work is bold, consolatory; like Harrison, I wonder if there is a bird waiting for me in the onrushing clouds."

What a strong recommendation!

One of Harrison's many fans is writer Laura Munson. In a letter to him titled "Ode to Jim" posted on her blog, she signs off with "Yrs."  She then explains, "(my sign off, which I lifted from you. I’m not sure if it means Years or Yours, but I’ll take both.)". Who wouldn't?!

So, here is the poem from the blog Prairie Ice.

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