Saturday, June 30, 2018

Timothy Murphy,1951- 2018; RIP

I cannot do justice to Tim's many interests and careers here even if it were not late at night. Farmer, businessman; poet and student of poetry, vigorous with unfashionable rhyme and meter (it was said that under the tutelage of his Yale mentor, Robert Penn Warren, he memorized 30,000 lines of Greek and English poetry); adventurer, gay man, gun nut (a 28 bore on the prairie!); Catholic (as another Catholic writer, Michael Gruber, once put it, practicing and trying to be perfect, with no illusions!)

In a just world he might well have been poet laureate, and he was enviably productive too. His cancer diagnosis spurred him into writing at least four extra BOOKS!

He wrote the best poems on dogs of our time, and on our common mortality:

When the returning dove
roosts at your mother's grave,

Ill bury a box of ash
beside her in the sod.

Vaya con Dios, love,
You were the dog of God.

Our fellow bird hunter, Catholic, and writer Jameson Parker called him "A Predatory Poet in a State of Grace." Exactly right.

Oh and-- for extra cool points: His childhood babysitter was Bob Dylan,

No comments: