This is not a song, but a poem set to music.
This is a perfect little poem by one of my favorite American poets. In college, a whole group of us went to Carnegie Mellon University to see Allen Ginsberg. He recited his poems from memory for more than two hours, a source of intense bardic energy. He played his harmonium and sang some of his poems. I do not remember if he recited “Aunt Rose.” He may not have because it is a quieter poem, not quite right for the tenor of an auditorium for a throng of college kids.
I like the poem standing alone, and I like it more with the music set to it. My favorite line is: “The Attic of the Past and The Everlasting Minute are out of print”
Miles participated in Poetry Out Loud at school. He memorized poems and recited them in front of his peers. He recited three poems:
- Walt Whitman’s “A Noiseless Patient Spider”
- Frank O’Hara’s “The Day Lady Died”
- Gertrude Stein’s “Stanza 83” from Stanzas in Meditation
I never got to hear him recite them. He was too shy to tell us about it, and he did not want us to be in the audience because it would rattle him. But Kali was there and she said he did great, especially the Stein poem, which is very difficult.
At the memorial services we held for Miles in Morgantown and Lewisburg, we had many friends and family recite these poems. People recited other poems that mean a lot to us, including Miles’s poem, “The Wild Thing.”