So many of us are caught up in the ceaseless news cycle – following the minute changes or the players on the world’s lofty pedestals – myself, too, maybe especially. But, daily, reports reach me of the passing of the great and the humble. In “Full Many A Gem” I plan to honor those who I’ve learned about from the NY Times, The Economist and other sundry sources.
I channel Thomas Gray:
Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
The dark unfathom’d caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flow’r is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
and Dylan Thomas:
I labour by singing light
Not for ambition or bread
Or the strut and trade of charms
On the ivory stages
But for the common wages
Of their most secret heart.
and lastly, Kobayashi Issa whose death poem recaps a terrestrial life:
a bath when you’re born
a bath when you die
January 17, 2020: H. Jack Geiger M.D.