It’s the birthday of the poet who said, “Writing poems is not a career but a lifetime of looking into, and listening to, how words see.” That’s Philip Booth (books by this author), born in Hanover, New Hampshire, in 1925. His father taught at Dartmouth with Robert Frost, and Frost took young Philip under his wing. When Booth joined the Army during WWII, Robert Frost sent him his poetry.
Philip Booth was a private man, a man who seldom did readings or went on book tours. But he liked to tell stories about the coast of Maine, where he lived for much of his life and where all his ancestors came from. At dinner parties with friends, he was always asked to tell a Maine story, which he delivered in his Maine accent. He published 10 books of poetry, including Letters from a Distant Land (1957) and his selected poems, Lifelines (1999). He died in 2007.
He said: “I think survival is at stake for all of us all the time. … Every poem, every work of art, everything that is well done, well made, well said, generously given, adds to our chances of survival.”