Saturday, October 20, 2007

Blues Break: Allen Ginsberg - "Father Death Blues"

From an interview with Ginsberg on the BBC's Face to Face (date unknown, but probably not long before his death in 1997) . The poem, which is Part IV of "Never Grow Old," appears in Plutonian Ode: Poems 1977-1980. Here's the full text:
"Father Death Blues"
Hey Father Death, I'm flying home
Hey poor man, you're all alone
Hey old daddy, I know where I'm going

Father Death, Don't cry any more
Mama's there, underneath the floor
Brother Death, please mind the store

Old Aunty Death Don't hide your bones
Old Uncle Death I hear your groans
O Sister Death how sweet your moans

O Children Deaths go breathe your breaths
Sobbing breasts'll ease your Deaths
Pain is gone, tears take the rest

Genius Death your art is done
Lover Death your body's gone
Father Death I'm coming home

Guru Death your words are true
Teacher Death I do thank you
For inspiring me to sing this Blues

Buddha Death, I wake with you
Dharma Death, your mind is new
Sangha Death, we'll work it through

Suffering is what was born
Ignorance made me forlorn
Tearful truths I cannot scorn

Father Breath once more farewell
Birth you gave was no thing ill
My heart is still, as time will tell.

(Over Lake Michigan)
In loving memory of Elliott Smith
Friend - Songwriter - Musician
(August 6, 1969 - October 21, 2003)

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