Thursday, April 22, 2010
April 19, 2010 Everett Ruess
The prompt for Monday was to write a poem about a person and use their name. My internet has been down until now. Following the poem is information about Everett for anyone who is interested. I actually wrote this poem last year and have tweaked it for this prompt. Thanks for reading.
Everett Ruess was found last year;
Seventy-five years after he went
It has been concluded that
Everett found death
(Not at all what he was looking for)
At the hands of youthful Utes,
Whose luck would be to find
A white man and two mules
In the high desert, traveling with no other company but
Detaching himself from
An absolutely perfect life
(Or so some might think).
Everett wanted simply to be immersed in beauty
(Or so he said).
Everett Ruess lay dead,
At the age of twenty,
Buried by a stranger.
His saddle settled on a ledge
Above his head
For seventy-five years;
Having gone too far alone.
Seventy-five years ago, a young man named Everett Ruess rode off alone into the Utah wilderness, never to return. The mysterious disappearance of the 20-year-old artist and writer baffled thousands and inspired several books and a film. Now, a team of geneticists and forensic anthropologists has finally put the mystery to rest.
Ruess was raised in Los Angeles and moved to San Francisco during the Depression. He tried to make a living at his art — cutting wood block prints and writing poetry. But even as artists like Ansel Adams and Maynard Dixon reached out to him, Ruess turned his back on city life. He said it drained him and left him uninspired.
At age 16, Ruess took two mules and immersed himself in the beauty of the Southwest. For four years, he wrote, painted and sketched, enchanted by what he saw.
"The beauty of this country is becoming a part of me," one of his letters reads. "I feel more detached from life and somehow gentler. I have good friends here, but no one understands why I am here and what I do. I've gone too far alone."
In November 1934, Ruess stocked up on supplies in the town of Escalante, Utah. He then headed into the empty expanse of Davis Gulch, frequented only by sheepherders, cattle rustlers and outlaws.
Ruess never came out of the desert.