Home > Uncategorized > On the 12th anniversary of my sister Lisa’s death – posted 10/21/2021

On the 12th anniversary of my sister Lisa’s death – posted 10/21/2021

I wanted to post some poems that evoked Lisa to me.

By Emily Dickinson

I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! They’d advertise – you know!

How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one’s name – the livelong June –
To an admiring Bog!

For the grave of Li Po by Bertolt Brecht

When I was alive we sat in the hollow of the park
Talking of this and that, but mostly of you.
You took me by the hand and led me to the temple in the wood Where we made offerings, mostly for you.
In the evenings we sat by the fire
I fed you with plum cakes and you sang.
Later then we lay back, gazing at the moon
And I composed verses, mostly about you.
Came the first light of day and the cranes screeched
And on their long legs stepped out through the marshes.
We took tea under the cherry tree
Then the neighbors came, mostly to see you.
Now where I lie neither fire nor moon can reach me.
I cannot hear the cranes nor your singing anymore.
Do you not have a single rice cake you might bring me?

And in your country? By Bertolt Brecht

In our country, at the turn of the year
Or when a piece of work is done, or an anniversary of a birth We share our wishes for happiness and luck
For in this country the pure of heart
Need luck.

He who harms no one
In our country will end up in the gutter
And fortunes
Are only to be had by villainy.

To come by a meal at midday
Calls for the courage
On which elsewhere empires are founded.
No one, unless they’re prepared to look death in the face
Can succour those in misery.

He who speaks untruths is borne in triumph through the crowds Whereas he who speaks the truth
Needs a company of bodyguards
But will find none.

Brother, now’s the time…. By Bertolt Brecht

Brother, now’s the time
Brother, hold the line
Pass the invisible flag down through the ranks!
In dying no different from when you were living
You’ll not give in, comrade, there’s no forgiving.
Today you’re defeated, the others have won
But the war only ends when the last battle’s done
But the war only ends when the last battle’s done.
Brother, now’s the time
Brother, hold the line
Pass the invisible flag on through the ranks!
Oppression or justice, the balance is shifting
We’ll throw off our chains and the clouds will be lifting.
Today you’re defeated, the others have won
But the war only ends when the last battle’s done
But the war only ends when the last battle’s done.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Het Jowsey
    October 22, 2021 at 1:19 am

    “We took tea under the cherry tree” – don’t you wish that you could just do that, from time to time, with those you loved who are now dead?
    As a postscript, my beloved mother in law, who died twenty years ago this week, is buried near Bertoldt Brecht in the Dorotheenstadt cemetery, along with – name dropping – Hegel and Fichte, Zweig, Brecht and Helena Weigel. It stands beside the Brecht house.
    I went back and read your post from five years after your sister’s death – a moving tribute.

    • October 22, 2021 at 2:00 pm

      I wish we could do that, Het. I miss getting advice from my sister which she always freely offered. She could have been a script writer. That is cool your mother-in-law is buried near Brecht. He is a favorite of mine. And thanks for saying that about my tribute to my sister. She was one of the best people ever. Carl Davidson once told me she was an organizing legend around Philadelphia which I actually think is true.

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