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Home > Author > Percy C West
 
Percy C West

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  Percy C West

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1910 - 1990 His Poetry was published by his friend, Harry Wettig. Enjoy this Poetry of the 20th century.


Background Information

This is the story of the Poet, Percy C West: Percy West was born and lived his entire life in southeastern North Carolina. He was born in Salemburg on April 2, 1911, the son of Charles Henry and Ella Florence (Bagget) West. He was one of four boys and three girls. The family moved to Wilmington after his birth and he remained there for the rest of his life. Percy was, it seemed, no different from other children of the community known as “dry pond” in Wilmington, except that there was something intense, something serious, in everything he undertook. He was not a frivolous boy or young man. His word was as good as having the task accomplished. Percy was an accountant. He worked for twenty five years with Spofford Mills, a cotton mill which was an important factor in the economy of the Wilmington area. When that Company was absorbed into one of the new conglomerates he joined another company, Lavine Shipping, and worked there until his retirement in 1977. Even though he remained in Wilmington all of his life, except for one year of service with the North Carolina National Guard just prior to World War II, his poetry is not parochial. It reflects his interest in events around the world and in the basic values which he learned and cherished throughout his life. His close relationship with his parents and his brothers and sisters remained throughout their lives. He married Rae Bradshaw, who lived in the community, and they had two children, Bill and Linda. Linda is still in Wilmington and Bill, a graduate of the Naval Academy, has recently retired as Captain in the United States Navy. Percy was very devoted to his wife and son and daughter, and four grandsons and much of his poetry reflects this commitment to them. He saw things in nature, in the people around him that many of his friends could not see. He perceived the problems and the successes of others, and responded with kindness to every opportunity to console or to applaud. I remember him from my pre-teen days as the one older boy who would listen to me when I spoke, and speak to me in a voice so soft that I knew he cared. Even as a young man he wrote. He began writing short stories and poems while a student at New Hanover High School in Wilmington. Several of these stories, complete with grade and the teacher’s encouraging comments, are in his papers although not printed here. This is the Poetry of a Man who did not find it necessary to build a macho image. A Man who knew and accepted his responsibilities to his family, his Church and his community. It is also an opportunity for you, the reader, to experience the wonders of this communication form as practiced by Percy C. West, and to find that life itself can be turned into poetry, and better understood because of the transformation. It is my privilege to publish this complete anthology of the poems of Percy West. I hope that you will enjoy this poetry as I have. Harry Wettig, Publisher

Accomplishments

The Book of Poetry by Percy C West: The Poetry of a Man. Here is the description of the book as seen by the Editor and Publisher:
Percy C. West and his wife, Rae, were so close to my family when I was a child that I thought they were "born to it"! We all lived in the south end of Wilmington, North Carolina, in that area called "drypond", which has been made famous from time to time by David Brinkley, another former drypond resident, who has done very well in the world of the written and spoken word.

Percy was very special. He was like the other kids, except that he wrote about things that he experienced, people that he knew, thoughts that came through his head. He had good teachers in the New Hanover County school system. He was also one of the many under the influence of the Librarian of the time, Miss Emma Woodward. He wrote, and saved these writings, from the time he was a teen until his death in 1990 at age eighty.

I have assembled these 51 Poems in what I believe is pure enjoyment — a real experience when you realize that you are reading the poetry of a Man who was not a poet, he was an accountant; a Man who lived in the same little corner of North Carolina all of his life, but yet writes of the entire world; a Man who knew his responsibilities to his family, his Church, his community and met those responsibilities; a Man who never had to curse and swagger and boast to show that he was a Man. But don't misunderstand me. I don't think he was a Saint; he was just a Man! And, I feel better because I knew him.

Rae and Percy invited my wife, Erin, and me over when we were visiting in Wilmington in 1988. After dinner we talked about poetry and Rae went into another room and brought out a box full of old papers. This was the repository of all of Percy's writings. We spent the rest of the evening reading this wonderful poetry, and I remarked that someone must publish these poems. Percy said, "They are yours. If you want to publish them, go ahead!" And I vowed to do just that! And now it has been done!

Percy died in 1990. I'm sorry that he didn’t see the First Edition of his book, published in 1994. I am sorry that he will not be able to experience this new form of electronic publishing via the Internet. He would have loved it!

Enjoy this Poetry, as I have. Share it with your family and your friends. Your life will be richer with each reading.

Additional Information

The Poetry of a Man, is out of print. There are only a few copies available from Harry Wettig. The publisher will consider requests for printing rights from Not-for-profit groups or institutions. Information is available from MacWettig@aol.com.

Contact Information

1883 Leisure World 
Mesa AZ 85206   USA
Contact Author: Percy C West




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