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Father Death Blues

Rating: 3.6

Hey Father Death, I'm flying home
Hey poor man, you're all alone
Hey old daddy, I know where I'm going

Father Death, Don't cry any more
Mama's there, underneath the floor
Brother Death, please mind the store

Old Aunty Death Don't hide your bones
Old Uncle Death I hear your groans

O Sister Death how sweet your moans
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Jack Runningbear 15 December 2007

If the entire body of Ginsberg's work was printed on toilet paper, it might finally, in some way, contribute something of value to our culture (if not our sewer systems) .

3 30 Reply
Dawn Fuzan 13 May 2014

Allen This is a good poem, keep it up

12 5 Reply
Constance Rose 29 September 2018

Don't know if you knew this but Allen Ginsberg is dead.

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Eljay Ryan 01 October 2012

Having heard him perform this several times with the harmonium, I can attest to the performance completely changing the experience of the poem. Some commenters don't seem to want to allow for the Buddhist context that permeates his work in this period, which I don't understand. We contextualize/historicize not to belittle but to better understand. For his mother, Ginsberg wrote a Kaddish on the occasion of her death - just 3 years before this poem for his father. It is but one part of a six or seven part series, and he is clearly exploring religious traditions in the face of death, loss.

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Terence George Craddock 17 February 2010

Ginsberg and the aims of the beat generation. How we contemplated you? Yes Father Death Blues. Sing the blues and fly home in death, its a family affair. Child, Genius, Lover, Guru Death we considered you too, and its true, death is a teacher of the blues, alone with pain poverty too. Interesting you enclose Dharma Hinduism Death within Buddha Sangha Buddism Death. Both born in India yet Buddha largely rejected there, for the allure of chaste system and reincarnation. Yes Death an old family member at our fireside, Death our friend in travel, wherever we reside.

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N9oeone 26 November 2019

Sub 2 Enzo Hamza or HE WILL EAT YOUR COOKIES! ! !

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Rocky Warren 21 March 2019

I was at Naropa in 1976 when Allen came back from his father's funeral with the sketchy notes for this poem - I typed them up for him in a rough draft, he did the first reading of it there later that year.

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Afkha 23 December 2018

Superb i like this poem.

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Misty 06 December 2018

It in so ?? nice

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Cheska 28 August 2018

I love this poem so much. I am addicted

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