The Stubborn One

In the early 2000’s, I was asked to introduce Georg when he gave a lecture at the New York Branch. I was contemplating his assertion that his work always remained at the intersection of three fields: linguistics, epistemology, and psychology. His persistence at this intersection seemed to me like the stubbornness of those Hindu gods and goddesses who would go on hunger strike or fold their hands in protest and maintain their abstinence until the universe gave them what they asked for. So my introduction took the form of the following poem.



The Stubborn One

(A Hindoo Phantasy)

for GK


A goddess, wanting, perched on one gold toe

and balanced, purely wanting. Aeons sped.

The universe observed her waiting so,

and reckoned she would stumble as Time fled.

She was not wholly motionless but turned

about her spinal axis, golden, slow,

as if a cool breeze wafted. Unconcerned

with hope or fear, she still refused to go.

Where toe met earth a sound began to rise,

then songs to form, then hosts to sing them out.

Then from the songs, from skies beyond the skies,

rained petals casting scents that conquered doubt.

‘Til she, when all worlds turned from “Nay” to “Yea,”

set down her other foot, and skipped away.


Michael Lipson, June 10, 2011