In an interview, Phoebe Snow explained:
“That was the second song I ever wrote in my whole life; the first one so lame I hardly remember it. It was just an exercise for me. I was trying so hard to be this hip and a groovy person. I was so stupid. The second one, ‘Poetry Man,’ came about because I was really getting the hang of guitar picking and I had these open chords, not open tuning, open chords. And I was having a relationship with somebody. From the words you can probably deduce that the guy was married. It was a bad thing to do. But I got a lovely romantic sonnet out of it. As it turns out, he was not a particularly great guy either. I turned it into this ode to romance. It’s funny looking back on it – I sat there and hunched over the guitar and said ‘I’m gonna finish this.’ I was in the throes of young romance.”
Queen Latifah recorded this for her 2007 album Trav’lin’ Light
Snow suffered a cerebral hemorrhage on January 19, 2010 and slipped into a coma. After enduring bouts of blood clots, pneumonia, and congestive heart failure, she died on April 26, 2011 at the age of 60 in Edison, New Jersey.