- Kind: Perfect
- Pages: 42
- Language: English
- Published: August 2012
- ISBN: 978-1-933675-79-4
From The Introduction by Daniel Gabriel
“[Richard] Darabaner died by suicide on July 1,1985 in New York City. He may not have been able or willing to continue suffering the intense psychological and spiritual agony he experienced for much of his life. He was an extremely sensitive being and seemed at times to exist on another plane: Angus Fletcher perceived something otherworldly in him. At the same time, his humanity and sense of humor were enormous, as was his capacity for friendship and empathy (this latter was especially evidenced in his teaching). Despite the pain and despair of his life, he was highly productive and left behind important and challenging work—work exhibiting a philosophical and theological passion. . . .
Darabaner’s religious poetic distinguishes his work from the largely secular poetry of the contemporary world. But as ironist he makes his religious focus contemporary. As iconoclast, he bends convention. Yet his voice is grave and biblical, such as in the poem, “[Not yet have I begun the poem of my heart].” . . . . it seems to be an attempt to make contact with an Other in the presence of the deity, to overcome rejection and silence. The speaker seeks to render his ‘heart’ or ‘a heart of things unspoken,’ as he puts it, but this could be impossible, in fact. Yet the spirit of resignation suggested at the end . . . could be an ironic form of redemption.”
[Not yet have I begun the poem of my heart]
Not yet have I begun the poem of my heart
Not yet weary of the day you said of the Savior:
You must rest in your loneliness.
Yet have I a heart of things unspoken
You turn again
You would not hear me if I were there
You would not leave for fear of your weariness
Not to seek forgiveness in the aftermath of things
Only the thought of Him and you were resigned
This is a great gift from Him to thou
Richard Darabaner earned a B.A. in English at Cornell University (summa cum laude); an M.A. in English Literature at the City College of New York; and a Master of Philosophy in English at the City University of New York Graduate School. His thesis at City College is entitled Applications of Wittgenstein’s Philosophy to Literary Criticism; and his dissertation draft at the CUNY Graduate School, Voracious Asceticisms: Kierkegaardian Irony in the Poetry of Yeats and Rilke. This latter is on deposit at the Hong Kierkegaard Library at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. His poems “All Singers Have This Failing” and “Tekakwitha” appeared in Wanderings and Kateri respectively; his stories “Belle Starr Paid in Kind” and “The Next-to-Last Judgment,” as well as the preface to his novel Every Wound a Memory, in the anthology Phoenix Rising; and his article on Thomas Pynchon, “A Possible Source for the Title of ‘The Small Rain’,” in Pynchon Notes. Darabaner taught at various colleges and high schools in the New York area.
Editor Daniel Gabriel has published three books: Sacco and Vanzetti (Gull Books, 1983) and Columbus (Gnosis Press, 1993)—both book-length poems, or poetic works, on historical subjects—and a scholarly work, Hart Crane and the Modernist Epic: Canon and Genre Formation in Crane, Pound, Eliot, and Williams (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). Theater productions of his work include a theatrical version of Sacco and Vanzetti, and the plays The Four Seasons of Salt, Exits, Snowbound, and The Fortunate Instant, an adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher.” He is a member of PEN American Center. He received his Ph.D. in English from the City University of New York Graduate School and taught for many years at Rutgers University, and at other places.