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"A Sonnet for Everett Ruess"

The Best of Edward Abbey

You walked into the radiance of death
through passageways of stillness, stone, and light,
gold coin of cottonwoods, the spangled shade,
cascading song of canyon wrens, the flight
of scarlet dragonflies at pools, the stain
of water on a curve of sand, the art
of roots that crack the monolith of time.

You knew the crazy lust to probe the heart
of that which has no heart that we could know,
toward the source, deep in the core, the maze,
the secret center where there are no bounds.

Hunter, brother, companion of our days:
that blessing which you hunted, hunted too,
what you were seeking, this is what found you.

Edward Abbey
Oracle, Arizona


Edward Abbey was born in Home, Pennsylvania, in 1927. He was educated at the University of New Mexico and the University of Edinburgh. He died at his home in Oracle, Arizona, in 1989. According to Wikipedia, Abbey was an American author and essayist noted for his advocacy of environmental issues, criticism of public land policies, and anarchist political views. His best-known works include the novel The Monkey Wrench Gang, which has been cited as an inspiration by radical environmental groups, and the non-fiction work Desert Solitaire.

"A Sonnet for Everett Ruess" was included in The Best of Edward Abbey, the only major collection of his work chosen by Abbey himself.

>  Thanks to Mark Hufstetler for recommending this poem.  <

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