Performed at the exhibition: Memories of Tomorrow's Sunrise
Ronald H Silverman Fine Arts Gallery
Cal State LA
July 6, 2022
Jason Jenn shares a selection of poetry written by William Embolden - activating the installation art he created on view in the exhibition Memories of Tomorrow's Sunrise at Cal State LA's Ronald H. Silverman Fine Arts Gallery.
William A. Emboden Ph.D., F.L.S. (February 24, 1935 - May 10, 2016) was a world-renowned ethnobotanist, writer, editor, professor, lecturer, artist, and poet. Interdisciplinary artist and exhibition co-curator, Jason Jenn helped to transcribe thousands of handwritten poetic works and dozens of manuscripts that William wrote during the final years of his life.
The installation piece "sharing a seat with the poets" was created as a tribute to the concepts of mentorship, spiritual connection, and ideas of LGBTQ and cultural ancestry/kinship beyond blood relations.
"The wonders of many sunsets remain in my heart
I have left my home and now
A starry roof is enough
How am I to render this moment of sunset
One must not ask for another sunrise
From the lake, the old lady loon calls to me
An old friend comes to me to say that It is time to light my lantern
I would ask only that you collect
And keep my poems
My only treasure..."
- excerpt from the 136-page document "Jisei: Japanese Death Poems" (one of 5 poetry collections created by William between 2012-2016)
In Death Poetry it became customary for a person to write a “farewell to life” poem just before death or upon his death bed. Rather than being restrained these poems became rather open. They were the manner in which the poet would prefer to be remembered. Some are rude or even defiant. Poems of Death are essentially an individual’s spiritual legacy. They may deny any further life beyond this, and they may even be jovial in content. There are no real boundaries to expression.
More about the exhibition at: https://www.laartdocuments.com/memories