To begin ...

As the twentieth century fades out
the nineteenth begins
it is as if nothing happened
though those who lived it thought
that everything was happening
enough to name a world for & a time
to hold it in your hand
unlimited.......the last delusion
like the perfect mask of death

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Emma Bee Bernstein (May 16, 1985 - Dec. 20, 2008): In Memoriam

bereaves the living
even more

we say or think
what played out in those

who took their lives
in hand
the fatal lapse

they seek
the freedom death
affords them

when the world
still senseless
leaves them empty

inward desolation
horror of
great darkness

great things
on the ocean

& counterfeit


[italicized lines after Coleridge's notebooks]

Charles Bernstein’s ”Eulogy for Emma”
A note from Felix Bernstein
The program for Emma Bee Bernstein’s funeral


Gregory Bem said...

An admirable, though haunting piece. Amazing, however, that the creation appears more like light in the dark than merely more shadow. Can tone get lost in content, or is its presence a heroism that will always battle for its right to stay surfaced?

Diana Manister said...

You have courage to attempt to articulate such a great loss.

At a time like this I recall Wordsworth's description of poetry as "emotion recollected in tranquillity."

Some of us lack the requisite calm.

Diana Manister

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