f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

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

. . . 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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