f/k/a . . . the archives

October 9, 2010

let us celebrate Peggy Lyles

Filed under: — David Giacalone @ 7:18 pm

(1939 – 2010)

poem by poem
the story of a life -
day-lilies open

(david giacalone, in mem. Peggy Lyles, after her poem)

Our Honored Guest Poet-friend Peggy Lyles died on September 3, 2010, and since then it is clear — and not the least bit surprising — that she was greatly loved and admired as both a person and a poet. (See, e.g., the Haiku Foundation tribute Peggy Willis Lyles at their weblog Troutswirl, by Scott Metz, September 6, 2010; and the article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Sept. 14, 2010.) I’ve been waiting for an inspiration worthy of Peggy Lyles before posting a memorial tribute.  Of course, that isn’t going to happen, and so I’ve settled for this modest posting.   My words at the Haiku Foundation memorial to Peggy give a glimpse of my high regard and affection for Peggy:

I can give no greater praise than to say that her virtues as a human being were as splendid as her haiku. . . .

No poet added more to the quality and ambiance of my weblog than Peggy Willis Lyles. I felt fortunate to share her poetry as examples of the best of our genre with many readers who weren’t familiar with haiku

From January 2005 through February 2009, fifty-seven postings here at f/k/a had at least two of Peggy’s poems.  You can find links to each of those postings by going to Peggy’s f/k/a archives pages. The short URL for her f/k/a archives is http://tinyurl.com/PeggyLylesHaiku .

Here’s the very first Peggy Lyles poem to illuminate this weblog:

bitter wind . . .
the hand that cups the flame
aglow

. . . from To Hear the Rain

You can learn much more about Peggy and find examples of her haiku here (a comprehensive review of To Hear the Rain: Selected Haiku of Peggy Lyles), and here (a profile at the Millikin University haiku website, including an interview).

. . . click on a photo for a larger version . . .

I’m not certain why — perhaps it was her name, one of her haiku, or a remark she made about one of my own haiku, but I have always connected Peggy Lyles with day-lilies and lilies in general.

Shortly before her death, I sent Peggy a hopeful get-well card that included this poem:

restless night -
a yellow daylily
starts to open

[David Giacalone, for Peggy Lyles, August 2010]

.

Here are a few of Peggy’s haiku featuring lilies:

.

distant jazz
a calla lily
catches rain

.

glide of the kayak
ripples overlapping
water lilies

.

through a maze of lilies brushstrokes of the trout

.

dress by dress
the story of her life
day lilies close

Peggy Lyles from To Hear the Rain (Brooks Books, 2002)

Finally, one from dagosan:

just past sunset –
faded daylilies
more orange than before

. . . by dagosan (July 14, 2005)

. . . thank you, Peggy, for your art and your grace . . .


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