Robert Hunter 1941-2019

Marcus ⌂, Samstag, 28. September 2019, 23:05 (vor 291 Tagen) @ Romas

Eine grosse Dichter und Lieder macher ist weg, aber doch nicht weg, denn seine Texte und dadurch Fenster zu neuen Perspektiven leben weiter. Als Teil meinem nachdenken zu seinem Tod möchte ich gerne meine zwei minimale Begegnungen mit ihm hier mitteilen. (Sagt nichts zu der Tatsache das Ohne Ihn und Grateful Dead Musik wäre mein leben bestimmt viel nüchterner und mit weniger "sense and color" sein). Und jetzt in English um mich besser zur Sache auszudrucken. Vielleicht ist etwas interessant oder unterhaltsam für diese Runde.

1) 1993, He published a book of poetry "Sentinel." He went on a reading tour together with Ray Manzarek (Doors) who played piano with some Bay Area poet I think. I saw them in Portland Oregon . . . Ray Manzarek and poet didn't leave much of an impression. When Robert hunter sat on the stage (in front of maybe 70 people) it was uncanny how he commanded the room. He read a few poems and then said "for the next 40 minutes in the poem the only two words that are more than one syllable are "Prologue" and "Epilogue." With that he read "Sentinel" an unbelievable experience to hear him read a poem so deep and spooky and resonant, . . . and always only with one syllable words. Check it out. After the reading I stood in the short line for a book signing. Lots of other people brought their copy of "Box of Rain" (collected lyrics) for him to sign. I didn't have mine with me so I bought the book "Sentinel" for signing. I had all kinds of smart things to share with him about how much of an inspiration he was for me while waiting in line. When I finally stood in front of him I could hardly say my name when he asked me my name to address his signature. I stood stupidly for about five seconds, might have managed a thank you, and then stumbled away. I heard it happens to lots of people when they find themselves in front of one of their heroes. Unfortunately I lost the book over the years but not the memory.

2) Maybe a year later I was starting teaching assistant scholarship for high school students in Germany and had learned that he had translated Rilke's "Duino Elegies." I never knew he spoke German. I wrote him a letter (addressed to the GD PO Box in San Rafael) asking how he got to Rilke and let him know I had German roots . . . I couldn't believe it about a month or two later when I received a typed letter from him, hand signed. He explained he didn't speak German but was fascinated by Rilke and the German language and it was simply an interesting project to go through the original German and piece together the best english equivalent he could. With respect to my next step into teaching high school students he left me with a phrase that has stuck with me . . . "Good luck prying open the oysterized minds, there are no doubt pearls galore." Unfortunately I seem to have lost that letter too over the years. (I know, bad me . . but life can be scattered sometimes).

Liebe Grüsse an alle . . . "Sometimes the songs that we hear are just songs of our own"


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