poem for allen

Image result for young allen ginsberg eugene

Last Wednesday, Dr. Rich (the professor kinda sorta related to good old Allen) handed me a piece of paper before class started. He said it was a poem he had written a number of years ago, and he had more or less forgotten about it until our conversation had triggered the memory of it. Dr. Rich said he’s been having a lot of flashbacks and thoughts of Allen since our discussions about his own early life and encounters with Allen, and he wanted to share the poem with me, which I’ll share on this blog now:


To Allen Ginsberg


When I saw you on Public Television

You sparked tearful memories

About our family


Their concealments and jealousies

How your Aunt Rose was kind to me

But my father called her a Communist


What did that mean Allen

That she couldn’t hug me

Or I could not talk to her


Your Uncle Sam was the nicest man

I ever knew giving us rides in his Packard

While he spoke of his life in Russia


My mother and Bubba listened and glowed

I think my father was jealous and agry

Because he hated Russia and the pogroms


I never met your father

But he gave my Zeyde a copy of

The Everlasting Minute


I have it now next to Howl

But not my grandfather’s poetry

Bubba burned it after he died


So I finally called your Aunt Honey

Today after months of delay

Her voice richly intelligent


I want to talk to her more

To ask about you

Rose Naomi Sam Joel Claire


– Dr. Morton D. Rich


I was very emotional after reading the poem, and really appreciated that he was sharing it with me. After class, we talked more about Allen’s Aunt Rose and some other stories about the family. He also suggested I listen to a traditional kaddish, and then revisit Ginsberg’s “Kaddish.” Even if some of this seems “off topic” for my thesis, I don’t necessarily think it is – I enjoy listening to any real life knowledge of Allen, and I think it will all feed in to the character’s mythology. I told Dr. Rich that even if he remembers wrong, it still works out – any truths or untruths about Allen that he really believes are helpful and enjoyable.

One Reply to “poem for allen”

  1. This seems hardly far from off-topic! AN interesting idea to have access to, or include pieces about the people around Ginsberg, and into the Kaddish traditions. It all gets to circling about his persona and influences.

    Is that a photo Dr Rich shared or just another photo? I’d like to see attribution for media 😉


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