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Ernest Noyes Brookings
December 12, 1898 - July 16, 1987
Some tributes and remembrances:
Ernie believed a poem could do what an encyclopedia could
do: impart information, educate, and make sense out of
the random chaos the world presents us. Indeed, the first
lines of many of his poems read like dictionary definitions.
If his work sometimes has a wacko, crazy-quilt quality,
that may say more about the world he's writing about than
the thread of his own thoughts. His poems are, nonetheless,
records of his own endearingly distinctive way of looking
at the world. They are first-class example of a gentle,
honest and truly creative sensibility at work.
-David Moser, Ann Arbor, MI
Ernest Brookings moved so slow through the world that
he was always getting himself hypnotized by the life
he walked past...by water, trees, television and lunch.
And like all good visionaries, he went from being lost
to being a poet. That's all.
-Brian Cullman, NY, NY
He used to sing and tell us stories, ghost stories.
He used to scare the shit out of us. (Ernest Brookings?)
Yeah. His real name was Gates, Ernie Gates.
-Larry Green, a resident with Ernie at the Duplex Nursing
Home. Always happy, sometimes confused.
I always thought of him as the Canadian Mountie of
American poetry; he always got his rhyme.
-Eddie Gorodetsky, NY, NY
I remember a little man so frail-looking I thought
I'd knock him over if I blew on him. He had a little
tiny voice, but he was a giant when it came to poetry.
He would tackle any subject and often stray off the
track for a good rhyme, but his poems always had a seriousness
that made it seem like
he really meant business when he wrote a poem. It seemed
like his little tiny voice could roar in his poetry...But
even more than his poetry I loved the way he answered
questions. I loved the preciseness of his answers. There
was no room for foolishness. He seemed dedicated to
-David Fair, Westminster, MD
He was quite a poet, he wrote so small. He wrote so
small at the Duplex that they'd throw it away. I noticed
that. It was small, small fine print.
-John Fay, a resident with Ernie at the Duplex Nursing
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