April – Poetry Month and Bill Holm

Today is the last day of April, which is poetry month. Beagle Books http://www.beagle-books.com/, a book store in Park Rapids, MN,  has been highligting  poems throughout the month. Today they posted a poem by the late Minneota,MN author, Bill Holm, called “The Dead Get By With Everything.” Click on the link above to read the poem.
I had the pleasure of meeting Bill Holm on a number of occasions, usually at a book signing for one of his books. Bill Holm was very proud of his Icelandic heritage, and he showed it off to great advantage. Everything about Bill was extra- large:  his physical stature, his personality and his booming voice.
One time as he was signing, he noticed my last name on my name tag. “Is that Finnish?” he asked. I said yes. He looked squarely at me and challenged, “Do you speak the language?” I am Finnish by marriage, not by birth, but under that ferocious Icelandic gaze, a complete sentence of Finnish appeared in my brain and was proclaimed aloud by me. Bill was satisfied by my recitation, and he completed the signing of the book. I had never had to pass an examination to get a book signed before!

The translation of the Finnish adage that I recited for Bill is this: “Things come; things go. Nothing stays the same.” Except one thing: the dead still get by with everything!

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