Return to Brookings House

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 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 the truth.
-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 Home

Return to Brookings House

©2003 The Duplex Planet