Father Death Blues

An Explication of Allen Ginsburg’s

“Father Death Blues”

    Ginsburg converses with Death and everything that Death has taken.   Throughout the poem he connects Death with all parts of life. He makes connections with religion, family, society, as well as within oneself. In almost every line of the poem Ginsberg directly addresses Death, but the flow of the poem greater addresses the idea of content. Loss, Content, and Acceptance are themes that flood the lines of this poem.
    Ginsberg starts the journey of this poem calling out to Death “Hey Father Death, I’m coming home” (line 1) The “Hey” indicates some sort of familiarity with Death. He is not afraid and he is comfortable with Death. This is an early indication of Content as a theme.   The second part of that line “I’m flying home” explicitly says “Home”, meaning that he is going to a place of comfort another indication that there is no fear of Death. Many fear Death and that which is associated with Death however, here that seems not to be the case. Also “Brothers Death, please mind the store” whether he is talking about a brother dying then he is showing that life must go on. Saying, “please mind the store” either indicates that the poet himself is dead or dying and that he needs to make sure the store is taken care of.   Or he is saying that another has died so their responsibilities need to be attended to.
    There are conflicting thoughts however in the poem (lines 4 & 12) “Father Death, Don’t cry any more’ and ‘Pain is gone, tears take the rest” theses lines show pain and suffering. They show a sad and negative yet natural part of Death a period of grievance. They are both lines that have sorrow “Don’t cry any more and Pain is gone” We mourn our loved ones but they are no longer able to feel. They pain is no longer with them it is with the Living. The “tear take the rest” they take what’s left of the pain.   The line “Father Death, I’m flying home” is repeated twice throughout the poem in lines 1...