Aimez-vous the Brahms Requiem?

The thought that thinking intellectual thoughts

 can’t be expressive
is just as false as thinking that religious ones

 can’t be progressive.
Both of these fallacies are put to bed by the great

 Requiem of Brahms
in which he intellectually the charms of

 death embalms,
inspiring listeners as does the kaddish prayer recited for

 our dear departed,
not mentioning death while feeling upbeat about God, not made

 by death downhearted.

This poem was inspired by the pianist Paul Lewis, whom David Allen quotes in an article in the New York Times entitled  “There’s Nothing Quite as Distressing as This Piece.”  Picking his favorite page of Brahms’s late solos, a work he describes as reflecting “abject anguish,” the distinguished pianist says:

There’s this tendency to think that things that are intellectual are not that expressive. I think Brahms puts that argument to bed.

Aimez-vous Brahms? by Françoise Sagan was a best-selling novel published in 1959 and translated into English in 1960.  It was made into a 1961 film titled “Goodbye Again’ with stars Ingrid Bergman and Anthony Perkins. 

About the Author
Gershon Hepner is a poet who has written over 25,000 poems on subjects ranging from music to literature, politics to Torah. He grew up in England and moved to Los Angeles in 1976. Using his varied interests and experiences, he has authored dozens of papers in medical and academic journals, and authored "Legal Friction: Law, Narrative, and Identity Politics in Biblical Israel." He can be reached at
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