My recent “return” post about being in the desert brought this piece I did a few years ago to mind. I checked again today and didn’t find any additional information about Mr. Orr aside from a few references in contemporary books to the poem and nothing after 1920. A mystery he remains. The original text of my post is below.
“Besides having had two poems published in Poetry magazine in 1915, there is nothing more I am able to tell you about the author of today’s poem – not even a birth or death date. It is a poetry mystery! And it is in contrast to the ethos of the internet age, where we are used to being able to find information about anyone instantly: the poem exists online but not so the poet. In a strange way it fits with the austere and ephemeral nature of life he describes in the desert, when the bones are left behind but the life of the animal is gone. If you would like to read the entire poem, click here. In the Mohave by Patrick Orr, painting (acrylic on cardboard) and composition by me.”