Biography of Russell Edson
Russell Edson (1935 – April 29, 2014) was an American poet, novelist, writer and illustrator, and the son of the cartoonist-screenwriter Gus Edson.
He studied art early in life and attended the Art Students League as a teenager. He began publishing poetry in the 1960s. His honors as a poet include a Guggenheim fellowship,a Whiting Award, and several fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Edson published numerous collections of prose poetry, short stories and fables, one novel, The Song of Percival Peacock, and The Falling Sickness: A Book of Plays. His final book was See Jack (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009).
He lived in Darien, Connecticut with his wife Frances.
Russell Edson Poems
One Lonely Afternoon
Since the fern can't go to the sink for a drink of water, I graciously submit myself to the task, bringing two glasses from the sink. And so we sit, the fern and I, sipping water together.
You haven't finished your ape, said mother to father, who had monkey hair and blood on his whiskers. I've had enough monkey, cried father.
A Stone Is Nobody's
A man ambushed a stone. Caught it. Made it a prisoner. Put it in a dark room and stood guard over it for the rest of his life.
On The Eating Of Mice
A woman prepared a mouse for her husband's dinner, roasting it with a blueberry in its mouth. At table he uses a dentist's pick and a surgeon's scalpel,
There was a man who didn't know how to sleep; nodding off every night into a drab, unprofessional sleep. Sleep that he'd grown so tired of sleeping. He tried reading The Manual of Sleep, but it just put him
A scientist has a test tube full of sheep. He wonders if he should try to shrink a pasture for them. They are like grains of rice.
A man is fighting with a cup of coffee. The rules: he must not break the cup nor spill its coffee; nor must the cup break the man's bones or spill his blood.
On the other side of a mirror there's an inverse world, where the insane go sane; where bones climb out of the earth and recede to the first slime of love.
A Performance At Hog Theater
There was once a hog theater where hogs performed as men, had men been hogs. One hog said, I will be a hog in a field which has
Ape And Coffee
Some coffee had gotten on a man's ape. The man said, animal did you get on my coffee? No no, whistled the ape, the coffee got on me.
There was a road that leads him to go to find a certain time where he sits. Smokes quietly in the evening by the four legged
A toy-maker made a toy wife and a toy child. He made a toy house and some toy years. He made a getting-old toy, and he made a dying
There was a man who found two leaves and came indoors holding them out saying to his parents that he was a tree.
A man is bending his wife. He is bending her around something that she has bent herself around. She is around it, bent as he has bent her.
One Lonely Afternoon
Since the fern can't go to the sink for a drink of
water, I graciously submit myself to the task, bringing two
glasses from the sink.
And so we sit, the fern and I, sipping water together.
Of course I'm more complex than a fern, full of deep
thoughts as I am. But I lay this aside for the easy company
of an afternoon friendship.