Thursday, March 3, 2011

In Passing: John Haines

"Ever" Diane Hunt 2005

And when the morning climbs
the limbs
we'll part without a sound,

fulfilled, floating
homeward as
the cold world awakens. 

- excerpt from "If The Owl Calls Again" by John Haines 

Via Mattie's Pillow this morning I read of the passing of poet John Haines in Fairbanks. Everybody should take a quiet moment and spend time to read something he wrote, maybe look out the window at the trees.

I remembered when I first heard him while sitting on the floor of the old Into The Woods bookshop while he gave a reading. I had only just recently rediscovered the power of poetry and had begun weekly reciting sessions with some friends, and the opportunity to hear his work live and in person was a rare and special experience. It didn't matter the location, he would transfix and transport you away from wherever it was: even far away from Alaska while reading one of his books, a deep connection with a sense of place is always evoked. His many honors aside, it was always a special, memorable moment to fall under his spell either in person or through the page.


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