Rock Reads: Came the Lightening: Twenty Poems for George by Olivia Harrison
by Kevin Wierzbicki
As the title indicates, this book collects 20 poems written by Olivia Harrison, the widow of George Harrison. If the reader is going to get choked-up here it will be right away, with the opening poem. Harrison died in 2001 of lung cancer and Olivia wrote "Another Spring" that same year. The poem talks about how she was hoping to see one more year with the former Beatle and really tugs on the heartstrings with "I couldn't help myself and nuzzled your ear and whispered final words to leave you with my sound." It is not difficult to imagine this scenario in George's final minutes but it is difficult to read without experiencing deep sadness. Also highly emotional is "End of the Line" where George asks Olivia, again on his final evening, "How will you manage?" Others are joyous, like "My Arrival" where Olivia writes of moving to George's English mansion and seeing it for the first time (and arriving in John and Yoko's car, no less). "Song for the Son" is partially about the couple's son Dhani but also about how much Olivia misses George. Ranging in length from just a handful of lines to a couple of pages, some poems are a bit abstract while others are easy to interpret. This nice keepsake also contains a few drawings and 26 pictures of George, the couple and favorite bucolic places. 104 pages in hardback from Genesis Publications.