Wonders Never Stop: Earl Fee’s book of poetry shows his spirit, wit

fee1Canada’s Earl Fee, named “The Great” by Peter Taylor, produces world records and fitness books with regularity. But last year, he outdid himself by issuing a book of poetry. Titled “The Wonder of It All,” the 224-page delight (Trafford Publishing) touches on dozens of topics. He makes you laugh, reflect and remember. He goes short and long. Sample: “The Karate Chop” Two inches of solid pine was fine, / He’d break it without whimper or whine. / Then the day of the hysterical joke: / His broken hand told it was knotted oak. Masters track makes several cameos, including one illustrated by a Francesco Lopez photo showing Earl in a WR 200-meter hurdles at Puerto Rico. “Old Suckers Never Stop” starts: “Just look at that old sucker go!” / marveled the students as I propelled / my near sixty-five-year-old bones across the finish line / on the desert dry indoor track at York U. / I had just used up three-hundred meters of my life / in a stressful forty-four seconds, / even beating some of these teenagers who had not yet / the secret of Dedication.”

Earl flies in a 200-meter hurdles race that set M80 world record of 36.95.

Earl flies in a 200-meter hurdles race that set M80 world record of 36.95.

Trafford normally charges $61.50, but the 8.5-inch-square softcover can be had for $20.90 on Barnes & Noble.

In his blog, Earl writes:

I class myself with the general population and certainly not with the elite poets  or most modern poets.  So my preference is the more understandable poems like Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost, and Walt Whitman. For example, Robert Frost’s most popular  poem is a simple one: “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” Another very popular poem is “Flanders Fields,” also beautiful in its simplicity. I believe the more conversational, informal, familiar type of poems will be more popular with the general public. Hence, I prefer poetry with a lot of word pictures, not photographic in detail but expressing a picture with feelings,  After all this is what poetry is all about─feelings. 

Earl is too humble. He may not be in the class of Carl, Robert and Walt, but he’s way better than your average Joe in the free-verse game. His 114 poems, some ranging to several pages, are creative, accessible and often topical. (Appreciate the 92-line “The Iditarod” or “The Collisions that Shook the World” written several days after 9/11.) Earl writes of war, love, humor and spirituality.

Illustrations are intriguing as well, including well-chosen images from stock photo services. And every poem is set against the background of one of four acrylic paintings by Earl’s late brother Maurice. Pretty classy.

With M85 looming in March, Earl spent some time on a book tour, including this library visit in June. Look for more records to fall in 2014.

In the introduction, Earl explains the book title:

Any day that we do not hear the voices of our 14 billion year old still evolving universe: revel in a vibrant golden sunrise or a soul stirring sunset, the magic clouds and a clear blue sky, or an awesome starry night; appreciate a walk in nature, or appreciate our fellow man and creatures; is a wasted day. Our lives are too outwardly materialistically oriented, whereas they should be more inwardly spiritually sensitive.

In my city I sadly miss the nightly display of our universe. In the county this spectacle so available each night in the crisp clear air-is normally taken for granted. We need to be more appreciative of the 100 billion galaxies and roughly 100 billion stars in each galaxy and with some stars so monstrous that it would take a jet plane about 1100 years to travel around them. Hence, it is impossible that we are alone in the universe. Recent research by astronomers reveals the universe is no doubt teeming with trillions of worlds like our own. We need to be forever grateful to be a finite part of our infinite, mind boggling, universe that defies description. Therefore, hopefully these few words will be food for thought-and these meager offerings of poems and impressive professional photos will awaken some spiritual
appreciation and gratitude for the wonder of it all.

To me, Earl is more than great. He’s a wonder who inspires on the page as much as the track.

Consider sharing his work with your masters track friends.


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December 3, 2013

7 Responses

  1. Anthony Treacher - December 4, 2013

    A hard act to beat.

  2. Don Pratt - December 4, 2013

    I ran in the same race, with Earl this year in Kansas and he look great. The 80-84 group was outstanding.

  3. Roger Pierce - December 4, 2013

    Earl lives his life to the fullest. We should all be as fortunate. “Great,” does not begin to describe the man.

  4. Earl Fee - December 5, 2013

    I must thank Ken again for the flattering and inspiring remarks, and for helping promote in a big way my poetry book by a struggling poet. He has a kind heart and a great website.
    Some of the material he got from my blog site http://www.earlwfee.com. It has longevity, and running advice and poetry, etc. See my latest blog on President F. Kennedy (The Salute).
    MY colored paper book costs $55 or more (way too pricey) but the 70 colored photo stock photos are beautiful I must say. The color ebook sells for #10.49 on Barnes & Nobel and not available on Amazon (but maybe in a week). The black and white paper book sells for $19 to $20.

  5. Earl Fee - December 5, 2013

    Please note the following typos in my blog above. It is of course John F. Kennedy and $10.49.

  6. David E. Ortman (M60), Seattle, WA - December 5, 2013

    Congratulations to Earl Fee for succeeding in another venue. For those who have trouble with verse –
    (It’s puzzled me for quite some time
    Why poems are written that do not . . end in similar sounding words)

    – Ernest Hemingway once wrote: “For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.” He proved that an entire story can be told using as little as six words.

    So why not Six-word stories on track and field?

    Here are some of my contributions (Note, numbers are counted as one word):

    “High Jump.
    Jump High.
    Bar falls.”

    “3,000 miles
    To run
    100 meters.”

    “Hop, Skip and Jump.
    Sand flies.”

    “Swifter, Higher, Stronger.
    Slower, Lower, Weaker.”

    “Starting gun,
    Blocks slip,
    Finish sixth.”

    “Blister forms
    second lap
    of four.”

    Five Events.
    Only finish

    “15 steps
    to Hurdle.
    16 – crash.”

    “Discus lost.
    Kids used
    as Frisbee.”

    “400 meters.
    Once around
    is enough.”

    “Pole Vault,
    plus wind.
    No height.”

    “Long Jump,
    plus wind
    equals foul.”

    “The Marathon.
    No one died.”

  7. Ken Stone - December 6, 2013

    Dave Ortman.
    at everything!

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