‘His influence is and will continue to be far-reaching.’ — Michael Stipe
Every now and then—but rarely—there emerges a poet so startlingly original and unlike any other that they seem to have evolved in isolation on some island of their own, far from the literary mainland. Ernest Noyes Brookings is one such poet.
Brookings is the ultimate late starter: never having written poetry before, he began in his eighties to produce verses on a daily basis, with a quiet intensity and single-mindedness, while resident at a nursing home in Massachusetts. In the seven years until his death in 1987, he produced around 300 poems on subjects such as power tools, blankets, white worms, after-dinner mints, Vermont in winter and the death penalty. The Golden Rule now presents all of the poems in a single volume. With a biographical memoir by David Greenberger (the man who first encouraged Brookings to write), an appreciation by Al Ackerman and an appendix describing Brookings’s unique writing process, this book commemorates a truly distinctive and wonderfully enjoyable writer.