Last week, I was chatting to Chazz Jogie from the independent bookstore WORD (they have two wonderful locations in Brooklyn and Queens). Feeling very low about the election results, we decided to focus on something positive and that meant talking about the books we’ve been loving. Chazz mentioned the resounding beauty of Jonny Cash’s previously unpublished poems, “Forever Words: The Unknown Poems” (Blue Rider Press) edited by the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and Princeton professor Paul Muldoon.
The book includes facsimile reproductions of Cash’s own handwritten pages. Here’s how Blue Rider Press describes the book: Since his first recordings in 1955, Johnny Cash was an icon in the music world. In this collection of poems and song lyrics that have never been published before, we see the world through his eyes and view his reflection on his own interior reality, his frailties and his strengths alike. In his hallmark voice, he pens verses about love, pain, freedom, and mortality, and expresses insights on culture, his family, his fame, even Christmas. Forever Words confirms Johnny Cash as a brilliant and singular American literary figure. His music is a part of our collective history, and here the depth of his artistry and talent become even more evident.
Playing his music and reading his poetry may be a reprieve in these challenging times.
But the book here.