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About Robert
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My dad found great inspiration in the works of other poets, writers and artists. The following poems pay tribute to Roger White, Walter Benton and Vincent Van Gogh. Starry Night was one of my dad's favorite paintings. 

Roger White died in the early 1990’s.  Around 1996, at least a half dozen people wrote and told me how similar Roger’s poetry was to mine.  I found only two books by Roger, but their impact on me cannot be measured.  Reading Roger’s work, I found thoughts and feelings from my past -  from as far back as age fifteen when I first began to write poetry – reflected in his writing. 

~ Robert E. Kogan

To Roger

Roger, I loved you
Long before I knew you had lived.
    We never had a chance to meet –
        I never listed to your music while sitting at
            your feet – 
Long before I read a word you wrote.
But words, like music never die,
And I find comfort listening to your melodies – 
Your words caress the Haifa of my mind.

It is there we spend a day and night together.
Sharing hope and promises yet to come.
You took all the hate, mistrust and anger,
    the senseless killings that we wear,
    and washed away the evil stains
        that clothed us – 
        released hidden beauty that was there – 
        tossed them to the wind – into the air.
        They reached me in my dreams
        when I was young
Told me I was not alone, and that you care.
Your gentle words reside within me,
And I am not alone, for you are there. 

Walter Benton’s Poetry

My poetry will never equal that of Benton’s – 
Will never be able to paint you
As he painted Lillian.
He painted her at dawn
While she lay sleeping by his side.
He painted her at night – 
Painted his gift of sight.
He painted her in all her splendor.
He painted her with love throughout the night.
My poetry will never equal that of Benton’s,
For I must write –
        instead of painting every night.

Starry Night

You are my love, my art
My torment straight from hell
Should you but ask,
I would not only live for you,
But die for you as well.

I gazed upon a Starry Night
And searched the sky for you, my dear,
I’d hoped to find a gift just right,
But nothing would appear
To be the gift of love and light,
So I severed off my ear.

I wrapped it in my canvas
Painted yellow, red and gold – 
For you to cherish often –
To fondle and to hold.

For those were the words you whispered
When I asked how my love must appear,
And you answered with mirth and laughter – 
That you wanted a gift of my ear.

The ear that heard your laughter
The ear that your lips softly kissed
And two on my face have been painted,
So one will never be missed.

For you are my love, my art,
My torment straight from hell.
Should you but ask, 
I would not only live for you,
But die for you as well.

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