Stanza Press, part of PS Publishing, has just released a new (but slim) poetry collection, OFF THE COASTAL PATH, edited by Jo Fletcher. I am mentioning it here because the collection contains a previously unpublished (at least to my knowledge) poem by Ray, "The Sea Went Away". In the poem, Ray uses the receding of the sea as a metaphor for aging. It is a very touching poem, one of Ray's best in my personal opinion. Here is a link to information about the book:
Thank you for this. I'm now off to order it.
John King Tarpinian
You know what you are, Mr. Bradbury? ... You are a poet! -- Aldous Huxley
Reading this posting over six years later caused me to remember that I visited Ray later in 2010 and had him sign that book of poetry for me. By this point in his life, Ray had difficulty reading due to poor eyesight, and he asked me if I would read his poem, "The Sea Went Away", aloud to him. I told him that I would be happy to. As I mentioned in my post of several years ago, I find the poem, which uses the sea as a metaphor for aging, to be quite moving. When I finished reading it to Ray, I looked up and saw he had tears in his eyes. Ray then smiled and said, "I guess I'm a poet." It was a wonderful moment, and I am happy to share it with others so late in the day.
That reminds me of when I would go over and visit on the weekends and read to him. It would usually go the same way: He would ask me to read the table of contents of a particular book (always one of his own), then he would pick a story and I would read it to him. During the reading, when I would look up, he would generally exhibit a wide-eyed glint, eyes all a-sparkle with blue-gray, rapt attention being paid to the story. He reminded me of a 12 year-old boy having an adventurous tale read to him. At the end of the story, he was usually quietly weeping with joy, and would proclaim something to the effect that "That's so beautiful - I can't believe I wrote it." Those times were dreams come true for this 12 year-old boy.
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