Liam Rector

“In a sports car I have worshipped this summer
the songs I’ve recorded on tape
driving and listening incessantly,

thinking this may be my last summer
this summer. This summer
I have conversed with death every minute

and found out I have the talent
to submit, to leave, even to flee,
and, in this, there’s nothing exceptional

about me.”

from Liam Rector’s poem “This Summer”

The poet Liam Rector, who had dealt with heart surgery and undergone treatment for colon cancer, ended his life on Aug. 15, 2007.

I will freely admit that I was never that much of an admirer of Liam Rector’s poetry, but I was surprised to come across an article about his suicide in Slate Magazine last summer, and this poem, one of his last, stuck with me. It is beautiful in its starkness, and I am jealous of that because that is a quality that I have been trying to attain and have only truly achieved perhaps three times, if I am to be honest, and then it was only as a result of great emotional pain. Is that the necessary element?

4 thoughts on “Liam Rector

  1. Poetry helps one deal with his or her pain. When I was going through a very difficult time in my life I often thought of killing myself!

    I wanted to escape beyond all miseries. I would have done exactly the same if I hadn’t vented by means of poetry.

    I wrote a short poem about me committing suicide. (You can see that my own blog). My frustration dried up with the ink and, thank God, I’m still here!

    A very nice blog you’ve got here Lola. Keep posting & I’ll keep visiting!

    The Lost Poet


    1. Thank you so much for stopping by. I wrote that post on Liam so long ago. I think that many poets/writers keep their emotions at the surface, which is one of the things that helps them to be creative. So glad that you didn’t follow through on your own frustrations. Writing through the pain often helps more than we think that it will.
      Please come back again soon.

  2. From my own personal experience, this element of emotional pain seems to be the key to explosive poetry creation. Perhaps it assists us to get to the basis of our deep emotions, which many times seem buried within us, as we move through life. Many times we find ourselves, playing a role of sorts, in our daily lives, playing a part, of a person, we are not. Only in the sharing of my own poetry work with others, have I been able to fully understand, that truly we are all the same in the soul within us, created by God’s love for us. The difference in us, and a rock, is the gift of “free will” given to each of us, to love God or not to love God, which in our lives is close to choosing to either love ourselves, or not love ourselves. “Love yourself, as you would love others” which means to me, not bringing harm to ourselves or others, in not living our lives within the relm of moderation and self disipline. Most importantly, to bring pride to our Creator in the living of our lives, in the sharing our blessings and our joys with others, without a count or a tally on our parts.

    My Best Wishes,

    John J. Rigo aka Internationalpoet

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