gershon hepner

Rookie - 10 Points (5 3 38 / leipzig)

There Is No Hell - Poem by gershon hepner

One day after Gide had died
they say a telegram arrived
with words that, posthumous, confide
to Mauriac: “I’ve not survived,
but here’s a message I must tell.
Enjoy yourself, don’t cogitate
about a non-existent hell:
have fun and dissipate.”
The author was not Jean-Paul Sartre, :
but could have been by me,
a willing carpe diem martyr,
of hellish thoughts quite free.

Inspired by a letter in the TLS, December 18 & 25,2009:
Hell doesn’t exist
Sir, – The openness of the secret of François Mauriac’s homosexuality (see John Flower’s piece, December 11) is perhaps shown by the telegram he received on February 20,1951, the day after Gide’s death, which read “Enfer n’existe pas stop Tu peux te dissiper stop Préviens Claudel stop signé André Gide”. The telegram has been ascribed to Jean-Paul Sartre – implausibly, given Sartre’s lack of anything resembling a sense of humour; more probable authors include Roger Nimier and Anne-Marie Cazalis.
32 Cleveland Square, London W2.


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, December 24, 2009

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