He was seen by many, but only understood by few. Sometimes he stated the obvious, but sometimes it was news. He loved the scent of coming spring, and even the death of fall. He heard so much nonsense, but found a way to make a little sense of it after all.
This is a tribute to the passed soul of a poet, a teller of both tall tales and the stark realities with which they contrasted. Some of his dreams were never realized, but through his memory hopefully some of them shall be. He wanted most to be remembered for the good things he left behind, and so he shall.
He soothed and calmed, as well as puzzled and befuddled through his countless works, the numerous verses and the many stories he wrote that seemed to have no real ending. But that was just the point. For him, the Universe was far too infinite to define, as hard as he tried to do just that. He gave up on defining existence long ago, for he nearly ignored defining his own.
He tasted bitter defeat in love far too many times, and to give so much love unrequited stings far more than most contended souls could imagine. Eventually, his luck finally turned and he found happiness, or at least, he learned to be content with what he got. He was never happy with the world in which he lived, and perhaps he was childish in his view that things were so unfair. But it was just how he was. He let everyone know that he never really wanted to grow up. In his mind, he was always in some ways still a child.
He loved sports, and while he lacked the talent to play them well at any true level of competition, it didn’t stop him from writing prolifically about them. Sometimes it was for his profit, but often more for his pleasure. But for the most part, in his mind, he was always in the backyard of his imagination playing out some outrageous adventure, except sometimes what he thought was imaginary, was actually true.
For the better part of his later life, he spent most of his time busy being a kid with his own kids, and perhaps, he spent his whole life just for that. Growing up for him was just an inconvenience. Anytime he got to be a kid again, he did. His children were his greatest inspiration, and he once said he was absolutely blessed to be so lucky.
One of his greatest wishes was to die before his faculties were taken away from the ravages of advancing age that so often claim them. Sure enough, in all of his eighty years, he never lost them. When he was discovered having passed overnight, by his bedside was yet another work, the epic poem about his life which he had started several years before. At first, it seemed that it was still technically unfinished, but as we all know, sometimes having that definite ending takes away from the story. For, as he once wrote in a famous essay, “How many lives end before we can define a happy conclusion to them and how do we know that the most important accomplishments are obvious to everyone?” So many of his were, indeed, but perhaps, he left more than we even realize.
As I read the final lines of his last poem, I realize that for all his struggles to write that perfect ending for his life, he truly did. His final line reads so simply yet eloquently: “In the end how we have played the game of Life is far more important than the final score.”