George Garrett (1929–2008)
With sadness, we at Blackbird note the death of George Garrett. Many of us were fortunate enough to count him as a friend, and he was a most generous contributor to our journal. Join us in celebrating his life by reading his work and remembering his artistry, his kindness, and his grand sense of the absurd.
Here (again!) an air full of white flakes,
now made only of petals and apple blossoms,
fleeing and falling to lie bright and still
like cast away coats on fields of new grass.
Besieged, we learned to hold our bitter tongues,
to cling to a crumbling dust of nothing
in clenched fists. Nailed up our lean hopes
like shabby hides on all our doors.
Comes now lord sun with trumpets and trombones.
Come trees with green flags, troops of drunken flowers.
Come forth again these blinking thin survivors,
you and I to open fists and flex our fingers.
To pick up shining pieces one more time.
from George Garrett's Days of Our Lives Lie in Fragments, New and Old Poems 1957-1997, Louisiana State University Press, 1998; reprinted with permission
The Achievement of George Garrett