We have very few oracles. The loss of the poet Gerald Stern means we have one less.
What a lovely tribute.
Thanks for that personal recollection of a friend in your life, Chris. You words are inspiring.
It takes courage and endurance to care about this life and the people in it. No one can do it alone.
Here's to Gerald Stern!
This is very beautiful, Chris, thank you so much. It is so important to know that humans like your friend the poet Gerald Stern exist on our planet. That's what keeps me going these days. The beauty of many humans, and the beauty of the creatures around us.
Hot damn, the poet saves my life; the one inside me who writes and sings my books and the ones out there swirling around in the dust like a mirror to every beating heart
Beautiful tribute. Grateful you kept going & he was a part of that.
What a beautiful eulogy to a beautiful friend. Thanks for sharing. It reminds us of what is required to really be “good.” Your friend set a high hurdle indeed, but one we can strive for during our moments of strength.
Chris Hedges is also an oracle.
Outstanding tribute, eulogy, ode, and obit. I did not know or know of this man but you have brought onto his side.
You and Jerry made me cry by the end. Thank you so much.
A friend worth having in a time of need!
I am currently reading Carson McCullers' THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER. I was an honours graduate student in English literature, specializing in American literature. I heard of her but never read her in any of my courses then. Poetry is my favourite literary form, but I've never heard of Gerald Stern until now....and what he wrote reminds me of the impassioned speech McCullers puts into the mouth of a left leaning worker in her book.
Here's part of his rant: "...our country was founded on what should have been a great true principle- the freedom, equality and rights of each individual. Huh! And what has come of that start? There are corporations worth billions of dollars- and hundreds of thousands of people who don't get to eat."
The passage goes on to document the basics of wage slavery.......company towns and company stores, where the workers are housed worse than cattle.
I did my masters in the United States.......I'm reading this amazing woman author now, in my 70's....and some of that may be my own fault, but its also the fault of a system of power that determines which knowledge, who's knowledge, it's important to know.
Carson McCuller's character ends by saying there's only two ways forward....Fascism or a true and lasting revolution. He concludes this in a book printed in 1940...written by a young woman of 23, living in the American south. We know how prophetic his conclusion was for the decade of WWII...but I wonder how much has changed?
The planet is polarized now between the forces of Fascism and a rising but weak social movement that seems to be realizing that none of us are safe unless all of us are safe, none of us food secure, while many starve............and none of us secure in our peace, if we remain willing to export war to foreign shores.
It's not clear which side is gaining momentum. But we might be further along if we read the writers and thinkers neglected by our mainstream press and eliminated from course outlines in our institutions of higher learning.
So thanks for one more name on my list of things to read before I die.
You keep writing Chris. We will keep reading. Rest In Peace Gerald Stern.
Damn!!! More homework from Chris. I hope I live long enough to read all the he suggest. Thanks for this new peculiar hero.
Makes my heart ache for all of us.
At the traffic stop, an orange flower
poking up from the center divide.
Will they stop loving the bomb
& hear this last call for life.
Against the blue shadows of dusk
the orange is dazzling, an obscenity
strung together by a single yellow bud,
a pariah to the autumn sky
hovering first downpour.
Can anyone be this bright
against the looming drums of terror,
or is it intended that most are too weak
for lucid walks into the racket,
distraction too loud for grief or thought.
None of us yet to survive a war.
Imagine my body flying out of this car,
as if I were some great owl
screeching about the ways they export nightmares,
helping them abandon their automate solitude,
as they commit their eyes to each petal
before it drops.
My 2-year-old in the bask seat
mesmerized by the voice of his mother
& the black lines of geese sifting
through October sky.
Another short life in someone else’s hands,
the construction man directs me home.