Anyway, I discovered that there was a writer called Charles Bukowski, who published a book in 1969 called “The Days Run Away Like Horses Over the Hill.” Now that, I thought, is a beautiful line. But I knew that I’d never heard of Bukowski and so that’s not where I would have come across the words. I was intrigued, though that Bukowski was born in Germany, as was I, though he was an American citizen. His grandmother was born in Danzig (now Gdansk) as was my mother. Paths diverge, however. Bukowski’s father was German American and fought in WWI as an American soldier. He met his wife, Katharina in Germany and they lived there for a few years until the difficulties of post war inflation convinced them to move to the United States. Bukowski didn’t have a great life, at least from my point of view, but he did publish many short stories and poems, novels, non-fiction. There are many recordings of his work, and films that use some of his work. I read the poem “Wild Horses …” on line. Not sure if I’ll read more of his work, though I very much like some of the titles of other poems: A Poem is a City, and When you Wait for the Dawn to Crawl Through the Screen Like a Burglar To Take Your Life Away.
Further research found me at a U2 site with the lyrics for “Dirty Day.” And there I found the words in the last line. When I looked at my copy of the CD (yes, I still have CD’s and play them), I found a dedication “For Charles Bukowski.” U2, an Irish band, has German connections – their album “Achtung Baby” was recorded in Berlin. In 1982 German filmmaker Wim Wenders approached the band looking for music for his film “Until the End of the World.” “Stay (Faraway, So Close)” was another song for a Wenders film.
Recently, I found a book in the library called, “Hidden Folk: Icelandic Fantasies” by Eleanor Arnason. Since I’m planning a trip to Iceland next year, I picked it up and read it. I’d never heard of this writer and enjoyed the book very much. Arnason lives in Minneapolis, but her family background is Icelandic. I also discovered that she has written science fiction, and been compared to Ursula Le Guin (one of my favourite writers). So another connection and new discovery. I will read more of her books.
I was pretty sure that Arnason is a name of Icelandic origins, and it is (internet research again). I do know Canadian author David Arnason, who I met many years ago when he was teaching at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. I even wrote a review of his collection of short stories “Fifty Stories and a Piece of Advice.” He was born in Gimli, Manitoba, on Lake Winnipeg. The land was granted to Icelandic settlers by the Canadian Government in 1875. The community became known as New Iceland. After reading Eleanor Arnason’s book, I decided it was time to read more of David’s work and I recently finished reading “Baldur’s Song: A Saga.” David Arnason has written many other books including, “The Dragon and the Dry Goods Princess,” “The New Icelanders: A North American Community” and “The Demon Lover.” Another connection – my fantasy (second in The Leather Book Tales series, coming out later this year) “Child of Dragons” has Icelandic characters.
Like wild horses running across the prairie, the mind at times wanders and forages where it wills.