Friday, September 21, 2007

Remembering Robert

I had the opportunity to meet the talented and effervescent author and illustrator Grace Lin this spring when we were on a panel together at the Texas Library Association conference. Her husband, Robert Mercer, was desperately ill and sadly passed away a month ago at the too-young age of 35. My good friend Nancy also lost her husband to cancer this summer. Grief has been weighing on many I care about recently, so I sought a poem for solace, of course.

by Langston Hughes

I loved my friend.
He went away from me.
There’s nothing more to say.
The poem ends,
Soft as it began—
I loved my friend.

Hughes, Langston. 1994. The Dreamkeeper and Other Poems. New York: Knopf, p. 12.

I would also like to join in the promotion of Robert’s Snow: For Cancer’s Cure, the fundraising effort that Grace initiated several years ago. From the Web site: “Own a piece of art from your favorite children's book illustrator while helping to fight cancer” by buying an original snowflake ornament created by children’s book illustrators. “Since 2004, this online auction has raised over $200,000 for Dana-Farber, and with your help, we can continue this holiday tradition in 2007.” The auction begins in November. And for more information about Robert himself, check out the Blue Rose Girls blog.

For the whole Poetry Friday roundup, go to Sara Lewis Holmes' blog Read Write Believe.

Picture credit:


John Mutford said...

by John Mutford

We love Langston Hughes.
He went away from us.
There's plenty more to say.
His life begins
as his poem ends-
We love Langston Hughes.

Sylvia Vardell said...

Thanks for stopping by. Sweet tribute to Langston himself, one of my heroes!

Sara said...

Proof that a poem doesn't have to be "fancy" to be powerful.

Sylvia Vardell said...


Susan said...

Thanks, Sylvia--and John!

Cloudscome said...

Langston Hughes is one of my absolute favorite poets. This is such a sweet poem!

Sylvia Vardell said...

Be sure and look for a reissue of Hughes's poetry beautifully illustrated by Brian Pinkney (THE DREAM KEEPER, Knopf, 1994). It's so accessible for children-- and readers of all ages.