‘Hymn to Evil’ gives hope

Poetry heals me. It does so by letting me dissect my state of being through shiny, sharp word scalpels: Cutting open a wound in this case can be just as curative as sealing it.

Recent events, not to mention the hell of a ride we all are on, made me want to read a poem on ‘Evil’. I wanted to read someone else’s effort at delineating this amorphous giant. I came across ‘Hymn to Evil‘ by Louis Ginsberg (Allen Ginsberg’s father), which was printed in the July 1927 issue of Poetry. It doesn’t speak of the exact kind of ‘Evil’ I was seeking, but it says exactly what I need to hear at this moment. Here’s an excerpt:

Watch a leaf in autumn flit--
Resurrection flames from it.
Death, as anybody knows,
Feeds the roots of any rose.
Gasping of an insect scales
Into notes of nightingales.
Crushing agonies alone
Melt into the diamond-stone
Till some earthquake lets us see
Long-imprisoned jewels free.

There is hope. There is meaning. There will be a resurrection. I will smell the roses. I will hear nightingales’ notes. I will find jewels. I will.

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