COME AGAIN IN THE SPRING by Richard Kennedy

COME AGAIN IN THE SPRING

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Your face is easy, but I can't recollect your name,"" allows laconic Old Hark on his first meeting with Death, who looks like a Yankee peddler and fusses like a bureaucrat over his client's determination to live until the winter birds he feeds can make it on their own. ""Erasures would have to be made, new entries, changes of address, causes of departure. . ."" mutters the stranger, and when Old Hark wins two delays by answering questions about his childhood with the help of friendly hints from the birds, his questioner grows frantic. Even the little birds don't know the answer to the third question--the window was closed the day Old Hark's father first greeted his newborn son, but it's just logically the same thing Old Hark says as his would-be last words and it sends death flying right out the window. There's reason to be skeptical of such encounters, and especially of birds who can remember back all those years yet need Old Hark to survive. However, the poignancy is muted in Sewall's pencil drawings, and both author and artist capture the old man's vulnerability while winning our respect for him as a cagey adversary.

Pub Date: Aug. 25th, 1976
Publisher: Harper & Row