Rod McKuen

While Rod McKuen was a very popular poet in the 1970s, he is often derided with scorn for overly sentimental schlock.

His poem, Thoughts on Capital Punishment is a good example. However, Rod admits on his blog, that the poem “is by no means one of my best or even favorite poems, but since its publication it has certainly stirred up more than its share of controversy. Proving, I suppose, that no one remains ambivalent to the subject.”

The archives for McKuen’s “Flight Plan” go back to 1998. And he’s been answering mail and posting his thoughts on the web almost daily since then. Fairly impressive.

Beyond discovering his website, one other thing of note I’ve discovered this evening while reading through the collection of his poetry I picked up this weekend: In the author’s bio it lists some of his works, and I discovered McKuen was partially responsible for one of my favorite songs from my youth. I was a child of the seventies. Terry Jacks is often credited with writing it, even though the Kingston Trio recorded it several years before he did. The song is Seasons in the Sun. It was originally written in French by Jacques Brel, and translated into English by McKuen.

And, yes, I know that the song has a reputation similar to McKuen’s.

OK, maybe I like schlock.

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