Mysterious poem at the Hemingway Memorial, Ketchum ID

You have to look for the Hemingway monument, it’s not visible from the road, but the sign is. The monument is a bronze bust of “Papa” propped upon a stone column. It’s situated along a meandering stream, suitably facing the mountains. (Not so suitably,  directly adjacent to a golf course.)


Anyhoo, the words inscribed on the monument are part of a eulogy Hemingway wrote for  Gene Van Guilder, a publicist for the Sun Valley Resort, who died in a hunting accident. Nice, but a bit flowery compared to his customary, terse writing style…

While the monument itself was a bit anti-climatic. (Not quite sure what I was expecting.) The mysterious poem that was tucked into the rocks at the foot of the monument was quite intriguing and made the stop worthwhile for me…


Touching and well written. (Also interesting that it appears typewritten old school.) I did think twice about posting it since it’s quite personal and in memoriam. But it so’s beautiful and worth sharing. Also, I rationalized that anyone who deliberately leaves something at what constitutes a tourist stop may want that thing to be discovered. After capturing it with my camera, I did fold it back up and slip it back between the rocks. No doubt the elements of this snowy winter will take the final toll.

Many people aren’t aware that Hemingway was also a poet. Perhaps that’s because he only published 25 poems during his lifetime.  Minus 4 personal poems that his widow did not make available for publication, the remaining 88 poems can be found in his “Complete Poems“.


For those into Hemingway memorabilia, there’s a cool vault room in the Sun Valley Starbucks / Visitor Center featuring larger than life size pics of him and his cronies.


Another little known fact, Papa Hemingway was one of the first to use a stand-up desk. He tucked his typewriter into his bookshelf and stood typing whenever he wrote his fiction. The pictures you see of him sitting at a desk are when he is paying bills and doing other administrative tasks. At least that’s according to his old pal, A. E. Hotcher, author of “Papa Hemingway.”



So what do you think? Should I leave the poem up or take it down? 

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