Tuesday, August 4, 2009

sense of play

Only with a sense of play
can we interpret our own universe,
ignoring rules that make our lives perverse.
A catalogue unraisonné,
containing all the rules that we’ve
invented. is the book of rules that we
create to play the game of life and be
good sports in whom some friends believe.

Inspired by an e-mail from Professor Brett Kahr, who is writing a “definitive” biography of the distinguished child psychiatrist Donald Winnicott and contacted me because of the brief engagement I had with Winnicott while I was editor of the St. Mary’s Hospital Gazette in the early 1960’s. Note that after the Israelites receive the book of rules called the Ten Commandments they rise to play (Exod. 32:6), albeit around a golden calf. Perhaps they knew something that Moses did not. Professor Kahr wrote:

I had just been reading some letters that you wrote to Donald Winnicott in 1961 when editing the "St. Mary's Hospital Gazette". You may recall that you had commissioned Dr. Winnicott to write a profile of himself, and then you spoke warmly of him in your Editorial introduction. So, I then tried to "google" your name, and discovered that you are in America, and a poet as a well as doctor.
I just read many of your poems, and I like them very much. They convey a great literary spirit and much wisdom, as well as sense of the truly playful. I can see shades of a Winnicottian influence, as you may remember he wrote an important book about the seriousness of play.Having just had a birthday myself, I found deep resonance in "Youth has no age ...", which is a wonderfully engaging idea.

© 2009 Gershon Hepner 8/4/09

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