- Published: August 23, 2018
Conrad Balliet, longtime villager and lover of poetry, died on Saturday, Aug. 18. He was 92.
Balliet was the host of “Conrad’s Corner,” a regular WYSO program, in which he and guests would share favorite poems, since 1993. He was previously a professor at Wittenberg University for 30 years.
From a bio on WYSO’s website: “[He] was weaned on the likes of ‘Mary had a little lamb,’ bounced on his mother’s knee to the tune of the Pennsylvania Dutch rhyme of ‘ride-a ride-a Geilie,’ grew up in a home with Kipling’s ‘If’ on a plaque on the wall, and spent his adolescence with The Best Loved Poems of the American People, fancying himself as A.E. Housman’s Shropshire Lad. After brief and not very successful efforts at painting (houses and fences), bus driving and the U.S. Army, he worked his way as an English major through Muhlenberg, Lehigh, and Cornell. … [H]e spent … many years wandering through Europe and the lower reaches of the imagination trying to understand and explain the poetic and human complexities of W.B. Yeats and his beloved Maud Gonne MacBride.”