Thoughts of Alaska

Front cover of "Thoughts of Alaska" by Harry C. Bosch
Front cover of "Thoughts of Alaska" by Harry C. Bosch

I suppose I would be remiss in letting National Poetry Month slip away completely unnoticed on this blog.  In honor of the occasion, here is a sample from one of the more unusual items to surface recently, the final piece in Thoughts of Alaska, a slim volume of poems by Harry C. Bosch.

L’envoi

Go back to Bering–
Still comes the yearning,
Go back again,
When the sun swings around;
Go back with the wildbirds
In Springtime returning
Go back
When the wildflowers peep from the ground.
But my feet are getting restless
Writing this refrain.
Are you going to Alaska?
Is the thought I think again.

So far, the Pacific Northwest Collection holds the only cataloged copy of this collection of poems.  While it may not prove to be the only copy of the book in existence, I would venture to guess that each copy of this work probably would be somewhat unique, “bound” as this one is, between two strips of bark.

And who was Harry C. Bosch?  We certainly would be interested in finding out more.  In spite of Edna’s sleuthing, the most solid lead that turned up was an entry in the 1930 United States Census, which indicated that most likely this same Harry C. Bosch was working as a copper miner at the Erie Mine in Kennicott, Alaska at the time the census was taken.  A few other possible and intriguing facts about Bosch’s life emerged in the course of the limited amount of  time that could be devoted to researching this piece, but these lay more in the realm of pure speculation and will not be shared here.  So, if you do know anything more about Mr. Bosch, please feel free to write in.  For now, just enjoy the poem and contemplate what now reads (to me, anyway) as an equally mournful picture of the Erie Mine site below, taken many years before Bosch may have worked there.

John E. Thwaites photograph of Kennecott Mines Company Mine, circa 1912
John E. Thwaites photograph of Kennecott Mines Company Mine, circa 1912

Image credits:

1. Scan of front cover of Thoughts of Alaska

2. Erie Mine, Kennecott, Alaska,  John E. Thwaites Photograph Collection. PH Coll 247, Negative number THWAITES 247.19


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