Cover Art © Pamela Silin-Palmer, 1978, 2000
While following a snuffling herd of swine on a truffle hunt near Perigord, P. Silin, the well-known Bay Are muralist, discovered a dirt-covered metal box under the excited nose of a snorting sow....It was only that evening, after the truffles had been counted...that the box was examined and the marvelous oeuvre of Honniker Winkley first unveiled. Within were almost two hundred cahiers d'exercise in which had been meticulously penned the thoughts of the most unknown of the world's great poets. Over fifty cahiers were filled with the original draft of Winkley's great missive to Alfred Jarry, in which he passionately articulated his sophisticated "Esthétique du Porc", a statement on poetics which, had fate not so cruelly swept it from us, would no doubt stand today alongside the works of Longinus and Northrop Frye as a pillar of literary criticism. Others were filled with sketches and poems, and were neatly divided into four categories: 'Earth', 'Wind', 'Fire', and 'Love'. Silin enthusiastically undertook the laborious task of recopying the material, for the paper had become waterstained and mildewed through exposure.



Then, on the evening of July 16, 1976, while the rest of the party was still out truffling, fate struck as Silin worked alone in the yard. A pack of deranged wild boars, evidently driven into a rage by the herd of trained and pampered trufflers invading theri territory, launched a counterattack, savagely shredding the wooden fence, and treeing Silin in a fortuitously nearby chestnut. The life's work of the recluse bard was lost to angry hooves and snouts.

But fate was not so cruel as to rob us entirely of this unsung lyricist. Fortunately the 'Love' poems had already been copied, and Silin was able to reconstruct from memory many details of Winkley's life which he had revealed in his epistle to Jarry. Then noted artist Karen Kariya was called upon to recreate the spirit of Winkely's sketches. Silin, the only living human being to have had the opportunity to scrutinize Winkley's artwork, made this comparison of their work: "Kariya's line is smoother, surer, of course. But as for the essential spirit -- it's truly amazing!"

Here, drawings and poems side by side, as the poet no doubt would have wished, are published for the first time THE LOVE POEMS OF HONNIKER WINKLEY.

--From the back of the book

The Love Poems of Honniker Winkley was first published in 1978 by Lancaster-Miller Publishers, Berkeley, CA. It is currently out of print


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© 1978, 2001 Pamela Silin-Palmer. All Rights Reserved
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