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REECE THE PHILOSOPHER

No one disputes the fact that Byron Herbert Reece was a superb poet, a singer of songs, whose hypnotic rhythms also populated his two novels.  But here is another fact that is arguably indisputable: Reece was by nature, if not profession, a genuine philosopher.

A case can be made that anyone who thinks is a philosopher of sorts, for that is foremost the distinguishing characteristic of the philosopher.  But Reece was no ordinary thinker.  His introspections and cognitive explorations are reflected in poem after poem, conveying insights so deep and profound that casual, unthinking readers will overlook or find them perplexing.  This too is a gift to be admired.

Anyone who writes in any genre must first have something to say or at least describe.  Reece was a student of human nature who was capable of examining honestly his own inner life, while accurately assessing the multiple motivations leading to human conduct.  Likewise, he had a keen eye for the lessons to be drawn from his engagement with the natural world, and often, like the Taoists, found Nature to be his most enlightening teacher.

Here is merely one example of a poem that reveals the genius of this agrarian philosopher:

TWO MEN IN ME

A stone is stone but I am soul and matter;
Unfathomed spirit and enduring bone
Clothed both with flesh which death in dust will scatter
When from the partnership the soul is gone.
Good servants and obedient to my will
Are these my trunk and limbs the nerves enmesh,
And while the soul keeps there its dwelling still
It takes its orders of the temporal flesh.

Two men in me race forth and which shall win
I do not know, nor what the victory,
Nor shall I know until the two go hence
And what I learn I cannot publish then
For he of me who spoke must silent be.
When death betrays me to my elements.

 

 



Reece’s Legacy: Songs within Our Reach
by Dr. John Kay

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Thoughts on Inspiration 
by Ethelene Dyer Jones

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Terry Kay’s Keynote Address June 2013

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Byron Herbert Reece Visits Cleveland, OH
by: Jack Widner

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Remembering a Man I Never Met
by: Philip Lee Williams

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Blood Mountain
by: Steve Harvey


Reece Trivia
by: Mildred Greear


Searching for Reece

by: Keith Jones


Some Personal Reflections on Byron Herbert Reece
by: Ethelene Dyer Jones

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Spring in Appalachia: There Service (Sarvis, Sorbus) Tree Blooms
by: Ethelene Dyer Jones

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Thought on Bryon Herbert Reece’s Poem, “The Travelers”
by: Ethelene Dyer Jones

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A Critique and Explication of Byron Herbert Reece’s Poem, “I Know a Valley Green with Corn”
by: Ethelene Dyer Jones

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Early Settlers of Union County, Georgia: Their Descendants…Their Stories…Their Achievements; Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life
by: Ethelene Dyer Jones


A Sketch of Byron Herbert Reece
by: Ed Nelson

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