Marking the birthday of artist Andrée Schafer Rexroth, born Dutcher (Oct. 14, 1902 - 1940) first wife of poet Kenneth Rexroth….
Kenneth Rexroth: Your Birthday in the California Mountains
A broken moon on the cold water,
And wild geese crying high overhead,
The smoke of the campfire rises
Toward the geometry of heaven -
Points of light in the infinite blackness.
I watch across the narrow inlet
Your dark figure comes and goes before the fire.
A loon cries out on the night bound lake.
Then all the world is silent with the
Silence of autumn waiting for
The coming of winter. I enter
The ring of firelight, bringing to you
A string of trout for our dinner.
As we eat by the whispering lake,
I say, “Many years from now we will
Remember this night and talk of it.”
Many years have gone by since then, and
Many years again. I remember
That night as though it was last night,
But you have been dead for thirty years.
“Your Birthday in the California Mountains” was written in memory of Kenneth Rexroth’s first wife, the painter Andrée Schafer (Oct. 14, 1902 - 1940), whom he married in 1927 and who died in 1940 during an epileptic seizure. It is from The Complete Poems of Kenneth Rexroth, edited by Sam Hamill and Bradford Morrow, published by Copper Canyon Press.
Andrée ghosted much of Rexroth’s writing, both before and after her death…