Kent poet Merle Mollenkopf may be gone from this world, but his poetry is not.
With help from friend Harry Noden, Mollenkopf recorded about 40 of his favorite pieces and put about an hour of audio on two CDs before his death this week at 78 after a short battle with esophageal cancer.
"It was really a beautiful collection of a lot of his favorite poems," Noden said.
A retired English teacher, Noden recorded the readings with Mollenkopf about three years ago and put 28 poems on the first CD.
About three weeks ago he said Mollenkopf came to him knowing his death was nearing and sought to create a second disc.
"Initially we recorded far more than would fit on a CD," Noden said.
So they sorted through a few more and put a little more than a dozen on the second disc, Noden said.
The recordings are not available publicly at the moment. About 20 copies of the recordings are held by Mollenkopf's family.
Noden said he has no plans to make Mollenkopf's readings public and instead says that's the family's decision to make.
"I would think Merle would love to have his poetry out there and people listening to it," he said. "His poetry is incredibly powerful.
"I think Merle was indeed a master poet," Noden said. "Given the right opportunities, I think he would have become a major poet in the area."