In the preface of Follow Another Star, a collection of Jim Metcalf's poems and commentaries compiled posthumously by his wife, Mary Ann, she writes that her husband "died believing what he lived and what he wrote."
Phil Johnson, assistant general manager of WWL-TV in New Orleans, where Metcalf worked, agrees. "Jim Metcalf was an uncommon man," Johnson said. "He saw things differently than most people. . . . He was infatuated with words. He loved the language. He used it well."
Metcalf, a native Texan who held degrees from North Texas State University, honed his broadcasting and writing skills at WAI-TV in San Antonio prior to moving to New Orleans, where he would reach the pinnacle of his professional and poetic life.
At the time of his death in 1977, Jim Metcalf was widely acclaimed as one of the brightest new stars in the poetry world. He was also the writer, producer, and host of the top-rated New Orleans television program, A Sunday Journal. His work earned him many accolades, including the distinguished Peabody Award for broadcasting. In 1998, Metcalf was posthumously inducted into the New Orleans Broadcasting Hall of Fame.
Please let me see it
all as one . . .
And let it embrace me
and take my breath
and close my eyes
and bid me
—from "Soft Farewell,"
Please to Begin