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Posts Tagged ‘biographer’

I blogged in May about the late Paul Nagel, the great biographer of the John Adams family and a friend from the years my husband and I spent in Minneapolis.

Today his son sent a lovely memorial piece by Paul’s longtime buddy Norbert Hirschhorn. Bert’s article appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Read it here. Bert is a physician who has written investigative medical articles on the real illnesses that likely killed historic figures. He is also  a poet. His website and photo are here. He divides his time between London and Beirut, where his wife is a professor at the American University. The following poem, written about a period he spent in Finland, might be an elegy for Paul.

Finnish Autumn

by Norbert Hirschhorn

Leaves flee their trees. Gold coins strewn across
woodland paths turn black, rain-smashed to dross.

Silver birches’ ciliate tips outside my window
incised against the sky like intaglio.

Bohemian waxwings rise in flocks, take flight –
maple leaves mottled by black-spotted blight.

Bone-white horizon, a full setting moon;
bone-white the sun rising into the brume.

I am worried, curious: the coming chill –
mythic, drear – augury of a world… gone still.

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