I surprised myself yesterday at how upset I was when I heard the news of Rod McKuen’s passing, (I hate it when people talk about well known artists using the artist’s first name as if they know or knew them but have never met them or met them briefly when getting an autograph or something).
I never met him; I had a lovely email from him once about fifteen years ago but that was my sole contact with me, but, like many thousands of other people, I felt that I knew him, because his writing was so honest, personal and open.
I have a signed copy of his autobiography Finding My Father, which I’ve had for many years. I also have his books of course and records and CDs.
I got my love of old English sheepdogs from him.
I got my love of honest, open and raw poetry from him.
I got my love of spoken poetry backed by music from him.
Through his poetry and songs he taught me to be honest and open with my feelings and affections
He touched many people’s hearts and inspired so many people.
A sad day, you will be greatly missed, Mr McKuen.