Haydn's Head - Poem by gershon hepner
To Haydn's head his body said "Farewell! "
detached, exhumed, to see if they could tell
from its phrenology how he'd composed,
before the rest of him had decomposed.
The wife of Josef Rosenbaum concealed
the head beneath her seat, and wouldn't yield
the trophy like the teraphim once hidden
by Rachel, who had stolen them, unbidden,
escaping from her father. It was hide-'n-
seek for them as for the head of Haydn,
himself called Papa just like Rachel's dad,
a headstrong man who faced her cephalad,
as Josef Rosenbaum's dear wife had faced
the seekers of the head they couldn't trace.
It wasn't until 1954
that friends of Haydn managed to restore
his head to other bones, which all will rise,
God willing, in a symphony, "Surprise! "
far better fate than teraphim of Laban,
by Frauenliebe never given Leben,
though that's a tale with far milk of human
kindness, thanks not to Haydn but to Schumann.
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