Johnny Cash, The Poet In Black – The New York Times

Shortly before he died, Johnny Cash scrawled down eight short lines in a shaky hand, mortality clearly on his mind.

“You tell me that I must perish/Like the flowers that I cherish,” he wrote. He considered the hell of “nothing remaining of my name,” before concluding with an affirmation of his own legacy:

But the trees that I planted
Still are young
The songs I sang
Will still be sung

That poem, “Forever,” is part of a new collection, Forever Words: The Unknown Poems (Blue Rider Press), to be published next week. Edited by Paul Muldoon, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and Princeton professor, the book includes 41 works from throughout Cash’s life — the earliest piece, “The Things We’re Frightened At,” was done when he was 12 — that were among the papers left behind when Cash died in September 2003.

Read more at The New York Times.

Buy Forever Words at Amazon or these additional retailers.

Johnny Cash - Forever Words: The Unknown Poems

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