Life, Satisfaction, Help, Comfort, Refuge, Healing, Redemption, Forgiveness, Atonement, Relief and Salvation

Jacob Bacharach

The mind may sort it out and give it names—
When a man dies he dies trying to say without slurring
The abruptly decaying sounds. It is true
That only flesh dies, and spirit flowers without stop
For men, cows, dung, for all dead things; and it is good, yes—

But an incarnation is in particular flesh
And the dust that is swirled into a shape
And crumbles and is swirled again had but one shape
That was this man. When he is dead the grass
Heals what he suffered, but he remains dead,
And the few who loved him know this until they die.

-Galway Kinnell, from “Freedom, New Hampshire”

The death of Philip Seymour Hoffman has been met in equal parts by deservedly effusive praise for the man’s art and the bizarre, prurient, voyeuristic, and pornographic interest in the particulars of his demise by apparent opiate overdose; heroin…

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