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.
- ‘Forever Words’ Will ‘Deepen Our Perception Of Johnny Cash’ – October 14, 2016
- Johnny Cash ‘California Poem’ Featured In The New Yorker – October 5, 2016
- Johnny Cash ‘Forever Words: The Unknown Poems’ To Be Released November 15 – August 19, 2016