Sunday, March 6, 2011

Alaska Poet John Haines Passes

Alaska poet and former poet laureate John Haines passed away on March 2.

Here is his poem If the Owl Calls Again:

at dusk
from the island in the river,
and it's not too cold,

I'll wait for the moon
to rise,
then take wing and glide
to meet him.

We will not speak,
but hooded against the frost
soar above
the alder flats, searching
with tawny eyes.

And then we'll sit
in the shadowy spruce
and pick the bones
of careless mice,

while the long moon drifts
toward Asia
and the river mutters
in its icy bed.

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

fulfilled, floating
homeward as
the cold world awakens.
One of John Haines' closest friends and collaborators was Fairbanks composer John Luther Adams. He set many of Haines' poems as lyrics.

Here's John Luther Adams' Nuntaks - Lonely Peaks, in honor of John Haines:

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