Johnny Cash may be one of the most prolific posthumous country stars. “American VI: Ain’t No Grave” and “Out Among the Stars” gave fans of the Man In Black more work to cherish after the legend died in 2003, and they were commercial successes as well. Now, a new book of poems spanning Cash’s entire life has been published by his estate.
“Forever Words: The Unknown Poems,” released Nov. 15, is a collection of 41 poems that Cash wrote throughout his life that were found by his son John Carter Cash. According to the younger Cash in an interview with Rolling Stone Country, he culled the poems from a collection of about 200 or so that the elder Cash left behind.
“Seeing my father’s handwriting puts me in contact with the man he was at each stage of his life,” Cash told Rolling Stone.
The poems span from when Johnny Cash was 14 years old right up until weeks before his death 13 years ago.
“When I read these poems, it’s as if my father is speaking to me again,” John Carter Cash said.
The book isn’t the final product for these poems. An album is in the works, too, with artists like Jamey Johnson, Dailey & Vincent, T Bone Burnett, Brad Paisley and Chris Cornell (whom Cash covered on “American II: Unchained”) recording some of the poems and setting them to music.
“Dailey & Vincent do a spot-on bluegrass gospel number and Cornell’s track is so powerful and gut-wrenching,” Cash said of the album.
The album is still in the recording phase, so there is no expected release date yet. “Forever Words” the book can be found at local bookstores right now.