Johnny Cash’s poems

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 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, $25). 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. / Democrat Gazette

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