Sunday, April 16, 2017

Wisdom by Byron Herbert Reece

I recently stumbled on this lyrical Southern poet from a mini-biography in a 1960's issue of The Georgia Review made up principally of letters he wrote to a friend. He lived up in the North Georgia mountains and has nothing left in print that I could find. His first collection was called "Ballad of the Bones" (Dutton, 1946) and this poem is called "Wisdom"

Though aimless as the sun or wind
Observe how agile is the mind.
A silver fish with silver fin
The roving mind moves out and in
Among the roots of things to learn.
A swimmer in an earthen urn
The mind goes slyly on its way,
But by what paths it does not say;
And sounds that it will never tell
Trouble the water, like a bell
Warning the mind that it should shun
A shore already touched upon.

In all that I have read of his, he revels in the world of nature and flowing thoughts. I haven't checked out everything he published, but it seems like his work would make an excellent volume of complete works along side these letters. I'm looking at you University of Georgia Press and Mercer College Press.

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