I was incorrect when I said I had finished reading Allen Ginsberg’s poem for his mother called “Kaddish.” Apparently it goes on for several more pages. I was fooled by the appearance of this poem (which I quite like).
“Hymmnn” – Allen Ginsberg
“In the world which He was created according to his will Blessed Praised
Magnified Lauded Exalted the Name of the Holy One Blessed is He!
In the house in Newark Blessed is He! In the madhouse Blessed is He! In the house of Death Blessed is He!
Blessed be he in homosexuality! Blessed be He in Paranoia! Blessed be He in the city! Blessed be He in the Book!
Blessed be He who dwells in the shadow! Blessed be He! Blessed be He!
Blessed be you Naomi in tears! Blessed be you Naomi in fears! Blessed Blessed Blessed in sickness!
Blessed be you Naomi in Hospitals! Blessed be you Naomi in solitude! Blest be your triumph! Blest be your bars! Blest be your last years’ loneliness!
Blest be your failure! Blest be your stroke! Blest be the close of your eye! Blest be the gaunt of your cheek! Blest be your withered thighs!
Blessed be Thee Naomi in Death! Blessed be Death! Blessed be Death!
Blessed be He Who leads all sorrow to Heaven! Blessed be He in the end I
Blessed be He who builds Heaven in Darkness! Blessed Blessed Blessed be He! Blessed be He! Blessed be Death on us All!”
Naomi is his mother’s name.
I was also quite taken with the penultimate section of the poem. Here’s some excerpts.
IV from Kaddish
what have I left out
what have I forgotten
with a long black shoe….
with your sagging belly
with your fear of Hitler
with your mouth of bad short stories
with your fingers of rotten mandolines
with your arms of fat Paterson porches
with your belly of strikes and smokestacks
with with your chin of Trotsky and the SpanishWar
Paterson is the city in New Jersey where William Carlos Williams lived most of his life. Paterson is also celebrated in his masterwork by the same name. Ginsberg ends this part of “Kaddish” with a beautiful section about her eyes.
with your eyes
with your eyes of Russia
with your eyes of no money
with your eyes of false China….
with your eyes pissing in the park
with your eyes of America taking a fall
with your eyes of your failure at the piano
with your eyes Of Ma Rainey dying in an ambulance…
with your eyes being led away by policemen to an ambulance
with your eyes strapped down on the operating table
with your eyes with the pancreas removed
with your eyes of appendix operation
with your eyes of abortion
with your eyes of ovaries removed
with your eyes of shock
with your eyes of divorce
with your eyes of stroke
with your eyes alone
with your eyes
with your eyes
with your Death full of Flowers
Allen Gisberg’s mother, Naomi, played the mandolin and the piano. She suffered from some sort of madness. She did receive a lobotomy. I find this poem quite beautiful.
I had lunch with Henry Idema this week. I discovered he has published two books. When I expressed interest he gave me copies of them. Last night I started reading his Freud, Religion, and the Roaring Twenties.
Henry is the assistant at my church. He is retiring next month. This book was based on his doctoral thesis at U of Chicago.
I read Freud as a young person. But I’m finding Henry’s clear prose is teaching me to understand Freud’s ideas better.
But more on that later, maybe.
I have now finished several volumes (1-5) of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman graphic novels. Some it is quite good. Some of it is okay.
I Moved your Cheese: For Those Who Refuse to Live as Mice in Someone Else’s Maze by Deepak Malhotra was offered as a discount kindle book recently. I bought it and read it. It’s kind of parable about being and action. It was okay.
I’m also about a third of the way into Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. It started out very weak, but now is going better. I can’t tell if I’m developing a tolerance of her prose or if she improves as the book goes on.
I had a bad night last night.
I had aches and pains. I was sure I would get up with a bad cold but I don’t feel too bad right now. I have been pushing myself lately to get a lot done. I’m hoping that I just was sore because I didn’t have time to treadmill yesterday.
Today I have a ballet class to play for, meeting with my boss (something I look forward to) and a piano trio rehearsal.
At the rehearsal we will be working on the piece I wrote for us to play Sunday. The piano part is a bit challenging and I have been madly trying to learn it.
Music went very well at last night’s Ash Wed service.
The choir was very small. I put the organ behind them on the Brahms which could have been done a cappella if a few of the absent members had been there. It sounded very good in service.
My two Brahms’ organ pieces went well. Both of them were ones I don’t think I’ve every performed in public before: O Gott, du frommer Gott and O wie selig seid ihr doch, ihr Frommen by Johannes Brahms.
Brahms wrote these pieces near the end of his life after his muse, Clara Schumann, had died.
At her death, he was devastated and assumed he would never compose again. In fact, he wrote some lovely stuff which includes these pieces, some amazing piano pieces and the clarinet sonatas.